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County Approves Williamson Act Contract

A Nevada County cattle rancher won approval from county supervisors Tuesday to place an 89 acre parcel off McCourtney road under the Williamson act. Under the California Land Conservation Act of 1965 , otherwise called the Williamson Act , Dave Barhydt will pay lower property taxes  in exchange for agreeing to keep his property in agricultural use . The Williamson act used to be a good deal for counties wanting to preserve rural open space because the state reimbursed the dollars the counties  lost by reassessing the property. In the Case of Mr. Barhydt’s acreage, Nevada County General fund and two special districts,   Nevada Joint Union High School  and Sierra College , will loose between $2,300 and $4,000 dollars .

But, the state stopped reimbursing counties when California was in financial trouble, transferring the burden to the county under what’s called Subvention.  Supervisor Nate Beason says that’s not fair to the taxpayers of the county.
Click here to listen to Supervisor Beason

Supervisor Ed Scofield strongly disagreed.
Click here to listen to Supervisor Scofield

Other Supervisors agreed it is not fair for the State to withhold funds from the counties.The new Williamson Act Contract for an Agricultural Preserve was passed on a 4 to 1 vote with Supervisor Beason dissenting.

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