North state Senator Jim Neilsen is pushing for a beneficial change to the Williamson Act. The law provides incentives for private landowners to voluntarily keep there land dedicated to agriculture and open space and was scheduled to sunset in 2016. Neilsen has been working on a bill that is headed to the Governor’s desk.
The Williamson Act, also known as the Land Conservation Act of 1965, allows for the preservation of agricultural and open-space lands through property tax incentives and voluntary restrictive-use contracts. Private landowners voluntarily restrict their land to agricultural and compatible open-space uses under 9-year rolling term contracts with local governments. The Williamson Act allows for counties to get reimbursed by the State for lost tax dollars.