The County Voice
Williamson Act Trailer Bill Signed
The Governor has signed SB 863 the budget trailer bill that contains clean-up language to AB 2530 (Chapter 391, Statutes of 2010) and a $10 million appropriation for Williamson Act subventions. The new law sets forth an alternative funding source option that would shorten Williamson Act contracts to nine or 18 years, depending on the current term of the contract, in exchange for the landowners forfeit of no more than 10 percent of their tax benefit. It is scheduled to sunset in January 1, 2015.
As most know, chances of losing state funding for the Williamson Act subventions for a second straight year was high. Other options had to be considered. While the approach specified in SB 863 may not be perfect it will provide some counties with the incentive to stay in the program. Others will have the option to begin non-renewals and some may chose to continue to backfill the program. Because the bill is not intended to be a “long-term” fix CSAC and RCRC will be looking to their membership to determine “where we go from here…”