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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Barbara Boxer Helps Score $36.8 Million for California Counties. S.F. Gets a Piddling $5,668.

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 1:11 PM

click to enlarge Hey, thanks a lot!
  • Hey, thanks a lot!
Sen. Barbara Boxer, in a tight re-election contest against Republican Carly Fiorina, has helped largely poor and rural California counties to a vat federal funds. Boxer has lent a hand in hastening this year's installment of government payments showered upon counties to compensate for property taxes they can't collect on federal land, Public CEO reports.

California's take of $36.8 million in so-called "payments in-lieu of taxes" has been a Godsend for strapped rural counties such as Tulare, host to non-taxable federal land such as Yosemite National Park and Hetch Hetchy reservoirs -- and recipient of a recent $2,724,727 check. San Francisco, sadly, didn't even earn its toothpaste money: The city's 2,364-acre patchwork of federal parks and other land was worth only $5,668 in federal payments.

click to enlarge Tough luck, San Fran
  • Tough luck, San Fran

The Department of Interior was supposed to deliver these payments to counties on June 10. Some rural counties in the western United States host millions of acres of federal land, and depend heavily on these yearly allotments to fund county services. Bureaucratic snafus this year, however, had pushed the scheduled payout date to mid-July.

A gaggle of 35 members of Congress, including Boxer, sent a letter to the Department of the Interior demanding swift payment. They got it. Checks arrived June 29, allowing beleagured counties such as Modoc, in California's desolate northeast corner, to deposit a cool $571,585 -- and thus make payroll.

San Francisco, facing a projected $438 million budget gap, won't much notice its piddling $5,668. The two counties Boxer once represented in the House, Sonoma and Marin, took home, respectively, $7,067 and $189,866.

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