Resolution to Support Payment of PILT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) Funds to 36 Counties
Whereas, the state of California through the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) has purchased private land for the establishment of wildlife management areas and for environmental purposes effectively removing it from the county property tax rolls in these 36 counties:
Alpine, Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Lake, Lassen, Madera, Marin, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo; and Yuba; and
Whereas, from 1957 through 2002 the state of California compensated counties for the loss of property taxes due to the establishment of wildlife management areas, however DFW did not make PILT fund payments to counties from 2002 to 2015 due to the failure of the legislature to appropriate funds for this purpose and as a result the counties have suffered economic hardship in the form of the elimination of funding for such programs, including, but not limited to; public safety, fire prevention and fire fighting, social programs for homeless, including veterans, families with children, mental health programs including domestic violence, drug/alcohol addiction and more.
Whereas, despite the failure of the Republican legislators to support the appropriation, in 2015-16 the Legislature appropriated $8 million in funding to pay the arrearages—an appropriation that was unfortunately eliminated in the 20-16-17 budget, which also made PILT payments “permissive” rather than required.
Now, therefore be it resolved, that the California Democratic Party supports repayment in full of the 48 million in arrearages owed to the 36 affected counties.
Be it further resolved, the Caucus respectfully requests that the great State of California keep its promises to 36 of its 58 counties and again require these ongoing payments.
Adopted by the California Democratic Party Rural Caucus on February 26, 2016.
__________________________ Attest: _______________________
Jamie Beutler, Chair Becky Curry, Secretary
Section 1504. Amended in October 2015. – Amendments in bold.
(a) When income is derived directly from real property acquired and operated by the state as a wildlife management area, and regardless of whether income is derived from property acquired after October 1, 1949, the department may 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 to the property was transferred to the state. The department may also pay the assessments levied upon the property by any irrigation, drainage, or reclamation district.
(b) Any delinquent penalties or interest applicable to any of those assessments made before September 9, 1953, are hereby canceled and shall be waived.
(c) Payments provided by this section shall only be made from funds that are appropriated to the department for the purposes of this section.
(d) As used in this section, the term “wildlife management area” includes waterfowl management areas, deer ranges, upland game bird management areas, and public shooting grounds.
(e) Any payment made under this section shall be made on or before December 10 of each year, with the exception of newly acquired property for which payments shall be made pursuant to subdivision (f).
(f) Any payments made for the purposes of this section shall be made within one year of the date title to the property was transferred to the state, or within 90 days from the date of designation as a wildlife management area, whichever occurs first, prorated for the balance of the year from the date of designation as a wildlife management area to the 30th day of June following the date of designation as a wildlife management area, and, thereafter, payments shall be made on or before December 10 of each year.
(g) Notwithstanding any other law, payments provided under this section shall not be allocated to a school district, a community college district, or a county superintendent of schools.