Urban Ag Moves Forward in LA County with AB 551

139887_Los Angeles_BAR_On November 5, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas introduced a motion to determine the feasibility of establishing AB551, the California Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones (UAIZ) act. AB551 allows local jurisdictions with populations greater than 250,000 to offer a reduced tax incentive to private owners of vacant land who commit to commercial or non-commercial agricultural uses of their property. Eligible properties would be assessed based on the statewide average irrigated agricultural rate of $12,500 per acre. The establishment of a UAIZ program could significantly increase the amount of land available for urban agriculture and food production across Los Angeles.

The motion directs the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the acting Assessor, the Director of Regional Planning, and County Counsel to report back in writing to the Board of Supervisors within 90 days [ prior to Feb.5 2015 ] on the feasibility of implementing an Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones program. The report will include an assessment of the number of eligible properties in the County of Los Angeles, recommended budget and schedule for implementation of the Program, and the anticipated impact on property tax revenue and the countywide budget.

– Hector Gutierrez at [email protected]

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