October wildfires destroyed $730 million in Napa County assessed property value
Napa County’s October wildfires destroyed or damaged 1,221 structures and wiped $730 million in assessed value — about 2 percent — off the property tax rolls.
For county government, that means a $3 million hit to the $205 million general fund. Other fire-related tax losses to county coffers, such as hotel and sales taxes, have yet to be tallied. Plus, the fire recovery will add to county expenses.
That means the wildfires will have at least some impact on future county budget decisions. The county provides services ranging from rural public safety to libraries to criminal justice to health and human services to rural road upkeep.
“It may have an effect of a recession on our little county,” Napa County Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht said.
Supervisor Diane Dillon agreed.
“We can’t go out and sell widgets,” Dillon said. “So if revenue goes down, we have to do something.”
The Board of Supervisors recently heard an update on the fire recovery effort, as well as an array of statistics. The Atlas, Nuns and Tubbs fires wreaked havoc as they burned in the mountains framing the Napa Valley in October.
Assessor John Tuteur compared the fiscal impacts of the wildfires to the 2014 South Napa earthquake. The earthquake damaged 1,300 properties – a little more than the fires — but the assessed value loss was much smaller at $12.3 million.