California Governor Jerry Brown released the proposed FY 2018-19 State budget today, which includes a number of items that support the County of Sonoma’s and City of Santa Rosa’s efforts to recover from the devastating October 2017 wildfires. Specifically, the budget designates $23.7 million to backfill property tax losses incurred by the city, county, and special districts on damaged homes and businesses.
“Sonoma County applauds this funding request from Governor Brown and our state representatives who championed the effort. Our community has suffered greatly from the October Fire Siege, and we need all the help we can get to not just recover, but become more resilient moving forward. This is a great start!” said Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chairman James Gore.
Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey added, “The importance of this funding cannot be overstated. These funds will save tangible services that the community desperately needs as it recovers.”
Additionally, the proposed budget allocates $11.5 million to modernize the state’s emergency 9-1-1 system, as well as funding to conduct stakeholder meetings this year to improve disaster preparation and mitigation. California has historically been susceptible to wildfires and hydrologic variability. As greenhouse gas emissions accumulate and climate disruption grows, such events will become more frequent. The extreme natural events of 2017 underscore the need to prepare for and mitigate the effects of climate change.