Sonoma County pioneered the concept of a sales-tax supported Ag and Open Space District. Yet there is another tax-related measure, shared with all of California, that achieves some of the same benefits. The question now is, can the cost of doing that be sustained?
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Since it was enacted in 1965, The Williamson Act has periodically been the target of budget cutters, and for the past three years, it has been all but zeroed out. But as long as the implementing language remains on the books, says Lex McCorvey of the Sonoma County Farm Bureau, it is still possible that some of the measure's benefits will continue.
Participation in the Williamson Act is voluntary. For Two Rock dairy rancher John Martin, whose family has been part of the program since it was introduced, the Act represents a crucial buffer against rising real estate prices around them
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