For whatever reason, the Department of Fish and Wildlife has failed to pay Mono County what is known as Payments In Lieu of Taxes for the past eleven years. Mono Finance Director Leslie Chapman says the State owes Mono nearly $646,000.
The Mono Board of Supervisors planned to deal with this issue today. Payments In Lieu of Taxes are designed to compensate counties when private land goes into public ownership with tax consequences. Chapman had prepared an invoice for Fish and Wildlife that includes more than $309,000 in past in-lieu taxes and nearly $293,000 in interest. plus penalties and other costs.
Seems Mono is not the only county Fish and Wildlife has stiffed. Chapman informed the Board that the Regional Council of Rural Counties asked Mono to participate in a campaign related to past due monies owed to counties by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
A chart of all California counties shows that Inyo County is due $10,298. The chart, provided by RCRC, shows that Fish and Wildlife owes all counties more than $17 million. A proposed letter to Governor Brown from the Mono Supervisors asks that the State pay up. The letter also points out that while Fish and Wildlife has failed to pay Mono County, the State has continued to hand down expensive mandates on air quality requirements, jails, landfills and other issues.
In other items before the Board, the Lee Vining Yosemite Gateway Motel appeal of transient occupancy tax late penalties was on the agenda again. Tim and Kim Traynor appealed the penalties due to what they called financial hardship resulting from the Rim Fire and closure of Yosemite. The Traynors are also asking for an installment payment agreement.