Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Governor signs Williamson Act bill
Sacramento, Calif. — A bill allowing for a change to Williamson Act contracts has been signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a move that may help local budgets next year.
Assembly Bill 2530, introduced by Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, addresses the virtual dissolution of Williamson Act payments to counties in the state budget for two years.
The Williamson Act provides the framework for city and county governments to enter into 10-year contracts with landowners allowing for the taxation of land used for production rather than total land owned in exchange for keeping the land in production and preserving it from development.
In years past, the state would reimburse counties for the tax revenue lost from foregoing traditional assessment methods, until the budget for the county payments was cut to $1,000 for the entire state.
Under AB 2530, a county can revise new contracts if its reimbursement payments are less than half of the actual tax revenue foregone under the act. The new contracts can reduce the amount of tax savings for the landowner, increasing their payments to the county.
The bill also states that landowners can choose to start the non-renewal process for their contracts, which phases out their current lower payments over the remaining contract period until they are paying the fully assessed value of their total land.
At the Tuesday special meeting of the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors, it was noted that any potential savings would not be realized by the county until next year.
District 3 Supervisor Michael Kobseff, however, stated that Assemblyman Jim Nielsen has been pushing for the inclusion of $10 million in this year’s state budget for payment to counties under the Williamson Act, which would potentially mean $200,000 in unanticipated revenues for Siskiyou County this year.
Page Updated: Thursday September 30, 2010 02:17 AM Pacific
Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2010, All Rights Reserved