The Open Space Subvention Act
The Open Space Subvention Act (OSSA) was enacted on January 1, 1972, to provide for the partial replacement of local property tax revenue foregone as a result of participation in the Williamson Act and other enforceable open space restriction programs (Government Code §16140 et seq.). Participating local governments have received annual payment on the basis of the number of eligible acres, quality (soil type and agricultural productivity), and, for Farmland Security Zone contracts, location (proximity to a city) of land enrolled under eligible enforceable open space restrictions.
Open Space Subventions have totaled more than $876 million since 1972, but were eliminated from the 2012-13 state budget. Statistics are available in Appendix C of the 2010 Williamson Act Status Report.
The Department of Conservation continues to work with assessors offices and planning departments to document participation in the Williamson Act Program. The FY 2012 participation survey is now available.
For more information on the OSSA, visit this page.