Williamson Act Threatened in Fresno County

The Williamson Act, a unique property tax provision which allows certain farmlands to have a tax assessed value even less than their proposition 13 assessed value, will be cut back, and potentially even dropped in Fresno County.

Under the Williamson Act, farm land values for tax purposes were significantly reduced if the owner/farmers agreed to maintain the land as farmland and not sell out to developers.  In the past, while counties received less in property tax revenues for properties under the Williamson Act, the difference was made up by the the state. 

However, there are no longer state reimbursements which forces counties to either eat the difference or minimize the tax benefits under the act.  As a result, the Fresno County Board of Supervisor's recently announced that they plan to cut the tax benefit by approximately 10%, which means that many Fresno County farmers will see an increase in their property taxes.