Modoc County Ranks No. 1
In Federal Dollars Received
Contrary to its conservative political posture of anti-government, anti-taxes, Modoc County receives more federal dollars annually on a per capita basis than any other county in California.
In five different categories ranging from farm and ranch subsidies to salaries for federal workers, Modoc County received $227,670,000 in federal expenditures in 2009, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s “Consolidated Federal Fund Report,” the latest data available.
That total figure is higher than any other county in California.
The federal report coincides with state data revealing that Modoc County, with the highest Republican registration of any county in California, on a per capita basis also gets more state taxpayer dollars than all but one of California’s 58 counties -- easily making the county the highest ranking receiver of combined state and federal expenditures.
The five categories totaling nearly $230 million in annual federal expenditures are federal employee salaries, retirement and disability payments, grants, procurements and “other direct payments.”
Salaries for federal employees totaled $115,292,000 or $12,660 per capita and a ranking of number one compared to $635 statewide.
Retirement and disability totaled $38,254,000 or $4,201 per capita and a ranking of fourth compared to a statewide average of $2,213.
Grants totaled $26,824,000 or $2,945 per capita and a ranking of eighth compared to a statewide average of $2,460.
Other direct payments totaled $24,338.000 or $2,672 per capita and a ranking of sixth compared to $2,186 statewide.Other direct payments are primarily direct payments to individuals such as farm and ranch subsidies.
Procurements or federal contracts totaled $22,962,000 or $2,521 per capita and a ranking of fifth compared to $1,866.
It is not just a single category that makes Modoc County California's top county for per capita in federal dollar expenditures. Modoc County’s No. 1 rank is due to top eight rankings or better in all five categories. The county’s data is significantly above the state average in every category.
The U.S. Census Bureau report also shows Modoc County’s annual per capita income at $17,285, compared to $22,711 statewide.
Based on these figures, it is apparent that Modoc County -- while considered a “welfare” county -- is not the “poorest” county in California. The county actually ranks number 40 out of 58 counties in California in per capita income.
In effect, its income standing is due in a large part to federal expenditures.
Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the July issue of the Modoc Independent News.