2014-02-20 / Front Page

Supervisors squash proposed Williamson Act changes

The county board of supervisors on Tuesday rejected any changes to local tax protection for agricultural lands.

The unanimous vote followed 14 community speakers who were all resolutely opposed to any alteration of current rules. Under a proposed change, the county would have retained existing Act contracts with landowners, but enacted a freeze on new contracts.

The county implemented Williamson Act protection for ranch and agricultural lands in 1977. The legislation gives owners of dedicated agricultural lands a tax break of up to 75 percent. 

Without the tax protection, many property owners along the county's main throughfares might be tempted to subdivide and develop their lands, rancher Marshall Long said at the meeting.

"We would probably have strip malls all up and down Highway 140 if we hadn't enacted (the Act) in 1977," Long said.

Read the Feb. 27 GAZETTE for more on Tuesday's meeting and the supervisors' decision. 

Rancher Marshall Long makes a point during Tuesday's board of supervisors session on local tax rules for agricultural lands. Erik Skindrud/The GAZETTERancher Marshall Long makes a point during Tuesday's board of supervisors session on local tax rules for agricultural lands. Erik Skindrud/The GAZETTE


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The BOS will of course, not

The BOS will of course, not consider the difference between the property taxes lost and the taxes gained by other means of the farming and ranching activities gained because of the Williamson act. The will vote as always, for short sighted gain a opposed to long range benefits.

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