A Napa County grand jury has questioned millions of dollars in tax breaks that were doled out to preserve wine country farmland with little chance of being developed. Passed in 1965, California’s Williamson Act seeks to ease the financial challenges farmers face as their ag land is taxed as more valuable transitional or development land. In return for a commitment to farm their land for at least 10 years, landowners are taxed at a lower rate. According to county officials, Napa County’s $200 million general fund loses $1 million annually because of Williamson Act contracts for both vineyards and grazing land.
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