Governor Brown Makes County Fairs A Priority Again

Governor Brown Makes County Fairs A Priority Again

After nearly a decade without state funding, Governor Brown signed bill AB 1499 into law on Friday; making County fairs a priority again. Authored by Assemblyman Adam Gray, the bill partially restores the state’s investment in California’s network of 78 fairs. According to Amador Fair CEO Troy Bowers, Gray’s bill creates an economic incentive for fairgrounds by allowing them to keep a percentage of the sales tax revenue generated on their properties. In the case of the Amador County, that could mean upwards of $70-thousand dollars a year. Bowers is quick to add, that’s still quite a shortfall from the nearly $300-thousand dollars a year, the Governor cut from the Amador Fair budget. California was forced to make devastating cuts during the great recession, including cutting $30 million in annual funding from the fairs. Bowers reminds everyone, while fairs are important economic engines in the communities they serve, they also act as evacuation centers and staging areas for fire and emergency services during natural disasters as both Amador and Calaveras did during the Butte Fire.

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