Nevada County seeks money owed to it by the state | TheUnion.com

Nevada County seeks money owed to it by the state

Nevada County supervisors want the state to fork over $330,000 they say belongs to them, and has penned a letter expressing support for a bill that would force California to hand over the cash.

The money in question is owed because the state owns property in Nevada County. The Payment in Lieu of Taxes program exists to offset property tax losses counties face in those situations. Losing a tax generating property to the state hurts a county's bottom line, and the payment program corrects that loss by allocating state funds to an affected county.

Nevada County, however, has received only two payments since fiscal year 2002-03 for two pieces of state owned property, leaving a $330,000 financial hole, Supervisor Dan Miller states in a letter.

"To small counties, it's a lot," Miller said Wednesday.

The local properties in question, the Truckee River Wildlife Area and Spenceville Wildlife Area, fall under the purview of the state's Fish and Wildlife Code. That code says the state "may" pay counties, according to Miller.

Senate Bill 58, authored by state Sen. Mike McGuire, would tweak that language, making it a requirement for the state to reimburse counties, Miller added.

"We need this and we should keep this at the top of our list for lobbying efforts," Supervisor Heidi Hall said at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting.

Supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to send a letter to McGuire supporting his bill.

Miller suggested the money, if received, could offset a loss of funding for infrastructure. He referenced a reduction in tax revenue that led to no preventative road maintenance for the next five years.

"Infrastructure would be a perfect location," Miller said of the state payment.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.