Modoc County Economic Development

We invite you to follow the links below to economic development resources specifically targeted to the businesses and communities of Modoc County, and to contact SCEDD to explore how we can assist with your business plans.

  California Employment Development Department - County Snapshots provide individual profiles of counties in California. These profiles include brief summaries of geographic, demographic, labor force, industry and occupational conditions within each county. County Snapshot documents are provided as Portable Document Format (PDF) files which require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view. Click here to view the Modoc County Snapshot.

Employment & Wages
Major employers in Modoc County are government, agriculture, services, wholesale/retail and manufacturing.

The Modoc County labor force is 3,953. The unemployment rate among men is 9.8 percent and 11.5 percent among women.

Wage rates are in keeping with the area's low cost of living. For example, an auto mechanic may earn entry-level hourly wages of $7 per hour, while an experienced bookkeeper may earn as much as $9 per hour.

Property Tax Assessment - Basic Rate: 1% of assessed valuation, state relief available for homeowners and renters.

Personal Income Tax - Figured on a progressive scale.

More Employment Information and Resource Links

Real Estate & Housing
A wide variety of land options are available for purchase. Retirement, ranching, relaxation, or raising a family -- you're bound to find the property setting that just right for you in Modoc County! Just under 65 percent of Modoc County is administered by federal agencies, assuring that privately owned lands will not fall prey to congestion of overpopulation. Major land use industries are agriculture, lumber, and recreation.

The topography of Modoc County includes mountainous areas, with fertile valleys and basalt plateaus. Natural resources and distinct seasons make the area a perfect place to settle, as many westward-bound wagon trains discovered in days gone by.

Lots in and around Alturas, the county seat, offer the most nearby services and amenities. Cedarville and other surrounding small towns also have grocery stores, cafes, gas stations, churches and basic services.

Acreage in Surprise Valley (bordered by Nevada to the east and Oregon to the north) is perfectly suited for agriculture. The absence of speculation development in this area, combined with no foreseeable land change, makes for a good choice in a ranch or farm.

Starting a tourism and recreation-geared business in Alturas or surrounding area is an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of an emerging "getaway destination" for Southern Californians as well as Oregonians and Nevada natives.

Whether you need an existing home or rent or buy, or a building site on which to create your dream home, Modoc County has it. Again, our low cost of living is reflected in home and property costs,  making the county an attractive place to raise your family in a home you own or to retire on a fixed income. Here are some facets and figures to help you picture the options:

  • Construction cost of average 1800 square foot home with three bedrooms and two baths - $100,000 to $110,000.

  • Most city lots cost $10,000 for a large lot.

  • Outlying areas acreage costs vary according to water availability and proximity to town.

  • Rent for a 950 square foot, two-bedroom apartment is about $300 to $350.

  • Single family residential homes rent for about $350 to $400.