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Williamson Act letter to Budget Subcommittee 03052014

Williamson Act letter to Budget Subcommittee 03052014

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Published by LakeCoNews
A joint letter from agricultural groups to a California Budget Committee seeking support for funding for the Williamson Act.
A joint letter from agricultural groups to a California Budget Committee seeking support for funding for the Williamson Act.

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Published by: LakeCoNews on Mar 13, 2014
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05/29/2014

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 March 5, 2014 The Honorable Tom Daly Chair, Assembly Budget Subcommittee #4 State Capitol, Room 4166 Sacramento, CA 95814 The Honorable Richard Roth Chair, Senate Budget Subcommittee #4 State Capitol, Room 4034 Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: Williamson Act Subvention Payments
 –
 Item 9100
Dear Assembly Member Daly and Senator Roth: On behalf of the undersigned, we are writing to urge you to support funding for The California Land Conservation Act (Williamson Act) Subvention payments to counties and cities pursuant to Government Code Section 16140. The Gove
rnor’s proposed Budget
contains a token $1,000.00 for county and city subvention payments. The Williamson Act is a state established program that preserves agricultural and open space lands through property tax incentives and voluntary restrictive use contracts. Private landowners, in exchange for lower property taxes, enter into rolling 10 or 20 year contractual commitments with participating counties and cities to keep their land in agricultural and/or compatible open space use. The Williamson Act has been very effective, protecting over 16.5 million acres or nearly one-third of all privately owned land in California.
 
The Honorable Daly and Roth March 5, 2014 Page 2 The Williamson Act was intended to be a partnership between the state, counties, cities and landowners. Counties and cities, in exchange for implementing the State goal of farm and ranch land preservation, were to receive a partial replacement of their foregone property tax from the land enrolled in the program. State subventions have not been paid since 2009, and counties and cities are struggling to meet their responsibilities under the Williamson Act as a result. In recent history, State funding for Williamson Act subventions was between $35 million and $39 million until the funding was eliminated in the 2009-10 State Budget. Our organizations strongly believe that keeping this program going is a highly cost-effective way to slow development of agricultural and open space lands. For the reasons stated we urge the California Legislature and the Governor to recommit and once again partner with counties, cities and landowners to preserve these important lands by funding the Williamson Act Subvention Program in the 2014-2015 State Budget. Sincerely, Kathy Mannion Pablo Garza Rural County Representatives of California The Nature Conservancy Karen Keene John Gamper California State Association of Counties California Farm Bureau Federation David Snow Greg Suba  American Planning Association-CA Chapter California Native Plant Society Barbara LaVake Pamela Miller California Women for Agriculture California Association of Local  Agency Formation Commissions
 
The Honorable Daly and Roth March 5, 2014 Page 3 Dave Runsten Nita Vail Community Alliance With Family Farmers California Rangeland Trust
Jeanne Merrill 
 Tim Schmelzer Jeanne Merrill Wine Institute California Climate & Agriculture Network
Matt Siverling
Steve Frisch Matt Siverling Sierra Business Council California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers  Association
Liberty Sanchez
Liberty Sanchez Brendon Flynn United Public Employees of California Sacramento Valley Landowners Local 792 Association Justin Oldfield Brenda Coleman
California Cattlemen’s Association
California Association of Wingrape Growers Lesa Eidman Michael Marsh California Wool Growers Association Western United Dairymen

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