For Immediate Release
Board of Supervisors approves funding in support of local tourism with continuation of Business Improvement Area Assessment
SANTA ROSA, CA | June 06, 2023
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved a continuation of the county’s Business Improvement Area Assessment without change for fiscal year 2023-24 after receiving the annual tourism assessment report from the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau. The assessment, which supports marketing activities to increase overnight visitors to the county, is expected to generate $4 million in revenue from businesses in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Sebastopol, Cloverdale, Cotati, Windsor and unincorporated areas. Currently, 84 lodging establishments are subject to the assessment, which is equal to 2 percent of room revenue, based on annual room revenue of $350,000 or more.
“Tourism is one of Sonoma County’s primary economic drivers,” said Supervisor Chris Coursey, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “With today’s action, our board has made clear its commitment to support the health and success of regional tourism, including infrastructure and service upgrades at our visitor centers.”
In addition to business improvement area funds, the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau receives 1.25 percent of the first nine percent of the county’s Transient Occupancy Tax, estimated to be $2.67 million in fiscal year 2023-24. The tax is levied at a rate of 12 percent for accommodations at lodging and camping facilities in unincorporated areas of the county. Sonoma County Tourism Bureau officials plan to allocate $500,000 of Transient Occupancy Tax funding annually to provide operational support to visitor centers countywide.
“Sonoma County Tourism welcomes the opportunity to work more closely with the county-wide visitor centers through this new funding program,” said Claudia Vecchio, CEO, Sonoma County Tourism. “Not only will SCT help fund the visitor center operations, but we’ve also set aside some dollars for infrastructure and information delivery upgrades to the centers, helping enhance the overall guest experience.”
The Board of Supervisors adopted the ordinance establishing the Sonoma County Tourism Business Improvement Area in 2004. In 2005, the Board appointed 13 individuals to the 22-member board of directors of the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau, which is charged with advising the Board of Supervisors on the assessments, as well as the services, programs, and activities to be funded by the assessments.
The Sonoma County Tourism Bureau submits to the Board of Supervisors an annual report on activities and expenditures, including an independent audit showing revenue from assessments and all other sources sufficient to carry out the agreed-upon services, programs, and activities.
All board materials related to this item are available at: