Warns against 2020 ballot measure to dismantle it
SACRAMENTO – Board of Equalization Member Ted Gaines today recognized the 41-year anniversary of Proposition 13, which California voters overwhelmingly passed to reduce property tax rates on homes, businesses and farms and cap the rate of future increases.
“California has some of the highest personal income taxes in the country and the highest corporate tax in the West,” said Board Member Gaines. “And now Proposition 13 is under threat with a measure on the 2020 ballot that would dismantle it by removing taxpayer protections for nonresidential property. We must do everything we can to preserve and maintain Proposition 13, one of the very few protections taxpayers have left.”
Prior to the passage of Proposition 13 on June 6, 1978, California property taxes were out of control. People were losing their homes because they could not pay their property taxes, yet government did nothing to help. The anniversary highlights the problems homeowners, small businesses and renters faced with crushingly high property taxes, and commemorates the positive impacts since Proposition 13’s passage. It also highlights the need to protect it from reforms that would have catastrophic consequences.
“Proposition 13 has made California stronger. Over the past 41 years, it has helped the average homeowner and small business save tens of thousands of dollars annually in property tax payments, money that was put back into the economy to create jobs and foster economic development,” said Board Member Gaines. “I will continue fighting to protect Proposition 13 for the millions of California families and businesses that are getting nickeled and dimed to death.”
Wanted: Sierra County Grand Jurors
Must be a U.S. Citizens, 18 years of age or over, not holding a public elected office, who have lived in Sierra County at least one year. Best candidates sincerely care about the county.
All 58 counties in California are required to have a Grand Jury. They are mandated to respond to citizen complaints and initiate inquiries and investigations into any public agencies, special districts, or other organizations that receive Sierra County's tax monies.
If interested, please contact the court at 289-2930 to apply
Another great car show was held June 8th with 115-+ cars. Held along Main Street, it kept local businesses hustling. Vendors included from gems to charms to llama poop to leather goods to toys!
A big thank you to East Sierra Valley Chamber of Commerce, President Mike Welbourn, V.P. Terry LeBlanc and members. BTW: This is Mike's last year heading up the car show. If interested, call Mike: 993-0453.
Fire Risk High in North Bay Saturday Morning, in Valley and Sierra Foothills Saturday Night
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)
June 7, 2019, 12:13:47 PM
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. June 7, 2019 – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today said it might be proactively turning power off for safety and conducting a Public Safety Power Shutoff in several Northern California counties within the next 18 to 36 hours. To help reduce the risk of wildfire and keep our customers, their families and their homes and businesses safe, the company may be turning off power in areas of the North Bay and the Sierra foothills where extreme fire risks exist.
PG&E is working directly with CAL FIRE, Cal OES, and other state and local agencies to help prepare for this potential safety event. This morning, the National Weather Service has issued Red Flag Warnings for the Central Valley and the North Bay Hills, starting either Friday evening or Saturday morning and lasting until Sunday afternoon.
“We know how much our customers rely on electric service and would only consider temporarily turning off power in the interest of safety during extreme weather conditions,” said Michael Lewis, PG&E’s senior vice president of Electric Operations.
Potential Timing and Locations
For the North Bay, there is the potential for a Public Safety Power Shutoff affecting several thousand customers starting around 6 a.m. on Saturday. The peak period of fire risk lasts until around 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Areas where power might be shut off:
Napa County: Portions of Napa, Lake Berryessa
Solano County: Portions of Suisun City, Vacaville, Winters
Yolo County: Portions of Davis, Winters
For the Sierra foothills, there is the potential for a Public Safety Power Shutoff affecting about 21,000 customers starting around 9 p.m. on Saturday with the peak period of fire risk lasting until 10 a.m. on Sunday.
Areas where power might be shut off:
Butte County: Portions of Paradise, Oroville, Bangor, Forest Ranch, Chico, Berry Creek, Palermo
Yuba County: Portions of Browns Valley, Oregon House, Marysville, Wheatland, Rackerby
Nevada County: Portions of Auburn, Grass Valley, Smartville, Rough and Ready, Penn Valley
El Dorado County: Portions of Pilot Hill, Greenwood, Georgetown, Cool
Placer County: Portions of Lincoln
If you live in these communities, PG&E will attempt to contact you via telephone, text and email.
Public Safety Power Shutoff Criteria
No single factor drives a Public Safety Power Shutoff, as each situation is unique. PG&E carefully reviews a combination of many criteria when determining if power should be turned off for safety. These factors generally include, but are not limited to:
• A Red Flag Warning declared by the National Weather Service
• Low humidity levels, generally 20 percent and below
• Forecasted sustained winds generally above 25 mph and wind gusts in excess of approximately 45 mph, depending on location and site-specific conditions such as temperature, terrain and local climate
• Condition of dry fuel on the ground and live vegetation (moisture content)
• On-the-ground, real-time observations from PG&E’s Wildfire Safety Operations Center and observations from PG&E field crews
PG&E remains committed to providing notice to customers in advance of a Public Safety Power Shutoff, when possible. The company’s goal, dependent on weather, is to send customer alerts prior to shutting off power. PG&E will do so through automated calls, texts and emails. The company will also use pge.com and social media channels, and keep local news and radio outlets informed and updated.
The cadence and frequency of notifications will depend, however, on the forecasted extreme weather conditions and how quickly those threats change, among other factors.
How our customers can prepare
As part of these preparedness efforts, PG&E is asking customers to:
• Update their contact information at pge.com/mywildfirealerts or by calling 1-866-743-6589 during normal business hours. PG&E will use this information to alert customers through automated calls, texts, and emails, when possible, prior to, and during, a Public Safety Power Shutoff.
• Plan for medical needs like medications that require refrigeration or devices that need power.
• Identify backup charging methods for phones and keep hard copies of emergency numbers.
• Build or restock your emergency kit with flashlights, fresh batteries, first aid supplies and cash.
• Keep in mind family members who are elderly, younger children and pets. Information and tips including a safety plan checklist are available at pge.com/wildfiresafety.
Inspections and restoration of power
After the extreme weather has passed and it is safe to do so, PG&E crews will work to visually inspect each mile of the impacted power lines to ensure they are free from damage and safe to energize.
Inspections will take place during daylight hours and, in most cases, PG&E expects to be able to restore power within 24 to 48 hours after extreme weather has passed. However, depending on weather conditions or if any repairs are needed, outages (weather event plus restoration time) could last longer than 48 hours. For planning purposes, PG&E suggests customers prepare for multiple-day outages.
Like a winter storm outage, during a Public Safety Power Shutoff, outage information, including maps showing which areas may by impacted, will be available
The Plumas Sierra County Fair, August 14 – 18, 2019, is fortunate to have another full service carnival provided by Wold Amusements and American Traveling Shows of Hanford, CA. Wold has, for many years, provided a great selection of exciting rides and attractions for a fair the size of Plumas and Sierra County. The 2019 edition will not be different.
The carnival will begin operations on Thursday, August 15, which is Kid’s Day at the Fair. As a gift to the community, Wold Amusements will offer free carousel rides that day for everyone. On Thursday, the carnival will operate from 1pm to 10pm. Friday and Saturday, it will be open from 1pm until midnight, and Sunday, from 1pm to 9pm.
The Plumas Sierra County Fair Board, and Wold Amusements is excited to announce the continued availability of the popular “Golden Ticket”. This valuable option allows for unlimited rides every day the carnival is operating, all day. In addition, The Golden Ticket has valuable coupons; a free midway souvenir, two for one carnival games on the Midway, and a popcorn with any food purchase at a carnival food trailer. All this for only $85.00. These tickets will only be available by pre-purchase at all Plumas Bank locations, Safeway in Quincy, Evergreen Market in Greenville, Loyalton Pharmacy in Loyalton, Sierra Promotions in Portola and the Fair Office at the fairgrounds.
The traditional ride ticket coupons are still available. They cost $20 each and are worth $32 in ride tickets, a 33% savings. These tickets can be used anytime the carnival is open. Also, these coupons can be exchanged for an all-day wristband on Thursday or Sunday only. There will be no single day, all-day wristbands available on Friday or Saturday, only if you have a Golden Ticket.
The ride ticket coupons are a good alternative for anyone who will only be at the fair a day or two. Even though they cannot be exchanged for an all-day ride wristband on Friday or Saturday, they are still a good value because of the discounted price. Remember, you get $32 worth of rides for only $20.
Golden Tickets and pre-sale ticket coupons are on sale now. For more information, call the fair office at 283-6272.
SACRAMENTO, CA – June 5, 2019 – The California Legislature is set to pass the 2019-20 State Budget, and the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) has outlined its top priorities for California’s rural counties. The current budget surplus provides the Legislature and the Newsom Administration with the resources needed to address many issues of importance to RCRC member counties.
While the organization advocates across a multitude of issue areas, the following is an outline of specific priorities, in no particular order, as they relate to the adoption of the 2019-20 State Budget.
Forest Health and Organics
The Cap-and-Trade program is a key element of California’s climate plan, which seeks to return to 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
RCRC is in strong support of the Senate’s proposed Cap-and-Trade Expenditure Plan, specifically for allocations to forest health programs, waste diversion and recycling, and the state’s Conservancies and Wildlife Habitat Conservation Board. Specifically, the Senate’s Cap-and-Trade Expenditure Plan includes:
$200 million to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) for forest health, resilience, and wildfire prevention programs;
$100 million to the Wildlife Conservation Board and the state’s various conservancies for continued vital restoration and preservation work in California’s forests, watersheds, and wildlands; and,
$75 million to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) for waste diversion and recycling programs – a much-needed first step to reaching the state’s ambitious organic waste recycling target that is anticipated to cost hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
The lack of affordable housing remains a focus of policy makers in 2019. The Governor’s May Revision includes $750 million in one-time funding to incentivize local governments to meet Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) planning and zoning requirements, and continues to authorize the withholding of transportation funding from jurisdictions that fail to meet certain housing goals. Specific funding allocations in the Governor’s May Revision include $250 million in planning grants for local jurisdictions to meet RHNA goals, and $500 million for the existing Infill Infrastructure Grant program.
The Legislature has rejected provisions of the Governor’s revised proposal that links transportation funding to local housing planning and production. RCRC maintains any redirection of transportation funding is non-negotiable, and advocates for local funding opportunities that take into consideration the unique challenges of planning for housing in rural communities.
California’s homelessness issue must be addressed. RCRC, the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), and the Urban Counties of California (UCC) are united in support of the Governor’s Revised Homeless Aid for Planning and Shelter Program (Program) proposal, which includes $650 million in one-time funding for cities, counties, and Continuums of Care (CoCs) to address homelessness in their communities. While the Governor’s May Revision provides $275 million to counties through the Program, and adds increased flexibility for the use of that funding, the proposal lacks a minimum funding threshold for smaller counties. RCRC is requesting that a minimum funding allocation for rural counties be established within the Program to ensure that low-population counties receive funding sufficient to both meet eligible use requirements under the Program, and also make meaningful progress toward address homelessness in their respective communities.
Safe Drinking Water
The lack of safe drinking water in some of California’s rural communities, many of which are low-income, is both a public health and social issue that deserves a solution. Governor Newsom’s California Water Action Plan’s Safe and Affordable Drinking Water proposal seeks to establish a fund to assist those that do not have access to safe drinking water.
The Governor’s May Revision continues a commitment to enacting a comprehensive package that assures safe and affordable drinking water for all Californians. RCRC appreciates the Administration’s commitment to this issue, and is advocating in support of the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water proposal. Specifically, RCRC would like the proposal to identify an ongoing funding stream to support the operation of the facilities in affected disadvantaged communities, and if a fertilizer mill fee is included, it should be accompanied by a compliance pathway for the farm community as they meet their obligation to reduce nitrates in groundwater.
Next Generation 9-1-1
California’s 9-1-1 system is outdated and prone to failure, as witnessed during the Camp Fire when a number of dispatch centers were unable to receive 9-1-1 calls.
RCRC supports the proposal to maintain and improve the state’s 9-1-1 system outlined in the Governor’s May Revision. In addition to the one-time investment, the proposal seeks to restructure the fee mechanism used to support the system, reflecting modern technological advancements and consumer phone usage.
In-Home Supportive Services Maintenance of Effort
The In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program provides critical services to seniors and disabled individuals to help them remain in their own homes rather than in more expensive institutional care. RCRC, CSAC, and UCC are united in strong support of the Governor’s proposal to revise the county IHSS Maintenance of Effort (MOE), which will create a more sustainable structure for counties to manage IHSS costs and continue to deliver vital services on behalf of the state.
While in support of the proposed revision, all three organizations remain opposed to trailer bill language that seeks to link an aspect of the proposal with collective bargaining. RCRC, CSAC, and UCC continue to advocate in support of the IHSS MOE proposal, absent the language to link collective bargaining.
The Williamson Act, also known as the California Land Conservation Act of 1965, authorizes cities and counties to enter into agricultural land preservation contracts with landowners who agree to restrict the use of their land for a minimum of 10 years in exchange for lower assessed valuations for property tax purposes. The Williamson Act has been successful and effective in protecting more than 16.5 million acres, or nearly one-third, of all privately-owned land in California.
State funds to counties to help offset the loss of property taxes have not been paid to counties since 2009. Without these payments, many counties have struggled to fully fund public services. RCRC continues to advocate for funding of payments to counties, and urges the Legislature and the Administration to recommit to the program.
State Payment in Lieu of Taxes
California Payment in Lieu of Taxes (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. However, prior to 2017, the state had not made annual State PILT payments in more than a decade, resulting in arrearages of approximately $8 million to 36 counties. In addition, in 2015, a change in the State Budget modified language to make funding for State PILT elective, leaving all future payments to California’s 36 State PILT counties in jeopardy.
RCRC is advocating for adequate funding for State PILT, inclusion of the full arrears, and restoration of the language that protects these future payments to California counties.
The Rural Rundown, RCRC’s analysis of the Governor’s 2019-20 May Revision and other budget items, can be accessed here.
ABOUT RURAL COUNTY REPRESENTATIVES OF CALIFORNIA (RCRC)The Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) is a thirty-six member county strong service organization that champions policies on behalf of California’s rural counties. RCRC is dedicated to representing the collective unique interests of its membership, providing legislative and regulatory representation at the State and Federal levels, and providing responsible services for its members to enhance and protect the quality of life in rural California counties. To learn more about RCRC, visit rcrcnet.org and follow @RuralCounties on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
SACRAMENTO - Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) released the following statement:
"Congratulations to Brian Dahle who will proudly represent constituents in California's First Senate District. Brian and I served in the State Assembly together. As colleagues in the Assembly, we advocated for economic development to help our farmers, to protect water rights, and to support the business community.
"I welcome Brian to the Senate Republican Caucus where Senate Republicans represent nearly 11 million hardworking Californians. As a true conservative and a tax fighter, Brian will bring strength to our fight to make California affordable," said Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove.
Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove represents California's 16th Senate District which encompasses large portions of Kern, Tulare and San Bernardino counties and including the cities of Bakersfield, Barstow, California City, Exeter, Frazier Mountain, Joshua Tree, Mojave, Needles, Ridgecrest, Rosamond, Taft, Tehachapi, Twentynine Palms, Tulare, Visalia, Yucca Valley and portions of the Kern River Valley. Follow her on Facebookand Twitter.