The Williamson Act is a statewide program enacted in Monterey
County in 1968 in which the owner enters into a contract with the
county to maintain his land in agricultural production. In exchange
the owner is eligible for a reduction in his taxable values.
Contracts enacted in 1968 were for a term of ten years. Contracts
after 1968 were for a term of 20 years. Contracts automatically
renew each year unless the owner files a notice of non renew with the
Board of Supervisors. To qualify to enter into a contract the owner
should have a minimum of 100 acres (40 acres for prime), and should
have a gross agricultural income of $8,000 per year for 3 of the
last five years. Owners may go together to create enough land to
qualify. The compatible uses available are specified in the
The Farmland Security Zone became effective in Monterey County in
1998. This measure ensures that prime farmland will get an
additional 35% reduction in taxable value. For
additional Information on the Williamson Act and the Open Space
Subvention Act, please visit California's
Board of Conservation web site.
The local administration is done through the Board of Supervisors by
Department. The Assessorís Office annually computes the
of Williamson Act Property
Williamson Act properties receive the lesser of the fair market
value, the factored base year value, or the Williamson Act value.
The Williamson Act value is determined by dividing the income (gross
income - 3% for management and insurance) by a capitalization rate.
The rate is composed of a yield rate based on the four-year average
of long-term Treasury bond yield rate, plus a component for risk,
plus 1% for taxes. Trees and vines in the Williamson Act are also
capitalized using the restricted rate.
If the property is in the Farmland Security Zone then the Williamson
Act calculation is done and the property gets the lower of 65% of
the base year value or 65% of the Williamson Act value.
obtain an application for a new Williamson Act contract, contact:
Clerk to the Board of
PO Box 1728
Salinas, CA 93902
New contracts become effective the fiscal year (July 1-June 30)
following the lien date (January 1). The Williamson rate is
available at about September 1 of each year. Once the cost of living
adjustment is known then the values can be updated. The values are
recalculated each year.
References Assessorís Handbook AH 521; R&T Code Article 1.5
starting at Section 421; SBE Rule 51, 52, 54.