Senator McGuire helps lead charge to fund rural counties & local economies

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sacramento, CA – Senator Mike McGuire co-authored legislation introduced this week to help rural counties recover more than a decade worth of payment in lieu of taxes (PILT) from the state.

Small, rural counties with tax-exempt state land miss out on taxes they would otherwise be paid for the property. Instead, the state is obligated to make payments in lieu of taxes (PILT) to help counties recover the lost property tax revenue. The state more than $19 million in PILT obligations to counties across the state, for funds they have not been paid over the last several years.

Senate Bill 234, introduced Feb. 13 by a bipartisan group of more than two dozen legislators, would appropriate $19 million to the Department of Fish and Wildlife for back payments to counties.

“Counties have not received their Fish and Wildlife PILT payments since 2001,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “It’s time we make it a priority that our rural counties get what they are due.”

According to California Fish and Game code, payments are required to be made to counties equal to the property taxes previously levied on the property. However, no payments have been made to counties since the 2001–02 fiscal year when a partial payment was made.

SB 234 was authored by Senators Lois Wolk and Jim Nielsen. Principle coauthors are Senators McGuire, Berryhill and Cannella with Assemlymembers Alejo, Dodd and Frazier. Coauthors are Senators Gaines, Galgiani, Morrell, Stone and Vidak with Assemblymembers Achadjian, Bigelow, Chávez, Dahle, Gallagher, Gray, Lackey, Levine, Linder, Melendez, Olsen, Patterson, Steinorth, and Waldron.

For more information or questions, please contact Kerrie Lindecker, Communications Coordinator, at 707-319-3654, or email her at kerrie.lindecker@sen.ca.gov.