Proposed California Budget Could Impact Williamson Act Subventions
This week, California Governor Jerry Brown unveiled his budget proposing to cut state spending by $12.5 billion dollars. Some of these cuts will directly impact land use and agriculture. Specifically, the Governor’s budget proposes the permanent suspension of Williamson Act subventions. The Williamson Act allows agricultural landowners to commit their properties to agricultural uses in exchange for discounted county property taxes. The state then reimburses counties for lost property tax revenues through annual subventions. At this time, it is not clear whether this budget will be adopted as proposed or how severely this budget action will impact those wine-growing counties that have embraced the Act.