On Thursday, the Rural County Representatives of California urged Gov. Jerry Brown to honor the state’s legal and financial obligations to counties as related to the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Payment in Lieu of Taxes.
The RCRC requested that the state include current and past-due payments in the 2014-15 state budget and resume annual PILT payments as legally obligated.
“Counties across the state are doing everything in their power to reduce expenses and tighten budgets to fund critical programs and services for residents,” said Nate Beason, RCRC first vice chair and Nevada County supervisor.
“All the while, the state owes 36 California counties more than $17 million in past due PILT payments.
The administration has indicated that paying off California’s debts is one of their top priorities. These past-due PILT payments are one of those debts.”
California PILT was established in 1949 to offset adverse impacts to county property tax revenues that result when the state acquires private property for wildlife management areas.
Fish and Game Code Section 1504 specifies that when income is derived directly from real property acquired and operated by the state as wildlife management areas, the DFW shall pay annually to the county in which the property is located an amount equal to the county taxes levied upon the property at the time title was transferred to the state.
The DFW has neglected to make annual PILT payments in more than a decade.