I strongly support the Orange County efforts to reconsider SB 1096 during the current session of the legislature. The current law handicaps those rural communities which participate in state-approved programs for land use and scenic easements. Those of us who are doing things to save farmland, forests and open spaces are being penalized by the current law governing the present Local Composite Index by using the true value of real property instead of local actual assessments based on land use using agricultural and conservation discounted values.
This is not just a school-based funding issue, but also affects other areas of the county government such as the sheriff’s office and the county’s share of Comprehensive Services Act costs. Consequently, I’m wondering why our board of supervisors has not sent a letter to our legislative delegation similar to the letters the school board sent. I would think they are at least as interested as many of our citizens are to take all available actions to reduce the need for raising our local property taxes.