Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

CEDAC back for portion of hotel tax revenue

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From page A1 | February 27, 2013 | 13 Comments

The El Dorado County Economic Development Advisory Committee (CEDAC) made a return visit to the Board of Supervisors on Feb. 25, asking for ten percent of the hotel tax (Transient Occupancy Tax) collected by the county.

With a cadre of supporters from all over the county, they asked the board for $200,000 of the approximate $2 million the county collects each year in hotel taxes to use as seed money to attract grants. They cited examples from other counties that have used hotel tax revenue to secure matching grants from state, federal, county and local sources to provide jobs and pay for public improvement projects such as bike trails, parks, and museums. Placer County was used as one example of a municipality that spent $30 million in hotel tax funds over 15 years to generate a total of $130 million.

A list of speakers from across the county spoke in favor of the proposal with El Dorado Hills attorney Jim Brunello taking the lead.

Brunello noted that in the past the county had not received the same level of grant funding as other counties and cited examples of how other jurisdictions had used hotel tax money to attract grants that were used to pay for local amenities and infrastructure.

He also proposed creating what he called a council of communities that would be made up of different groups including residential communities such as Camino and Cameron Park along with groups devoted to other issues such as historical preservation, agriculture, or fire protection. He said this would allow everyone a chance to weigh in on decisions.

Brunello referenced work CEDAC members have already advocated for having to do with regulatory reform and economic development such as the targeted General Plan Amendment, comprehensive zoning ordinance update, and countywide community design standards and guidelines. He said the next step was further work on community design, zoning amendments, the formation of special districts, and historical preservation.

Other speakers reinforced his message as they discussed the specific needs of their communities. Robert Smart Jr. of Diamond Springs said his community is targeted for more residential development but there are no parks. Betty January of El Dorado Hills wanted grants to help preserve the many historical sites in the county. Jeanne Harper said she wanted to bring “business to our businesses” and to beautify the community of Pollock Pines.

However Michael Ranalli was a little more to the point, saying “we’re here to get the money.”

To move the process along, Brunello asked the board to begin the process to develop a central web portal for sharing information; to develop a future promotions RFP (request for proposal) process to reflect funding of year-round programs (such as arts and culture, film, jobs, etc.) versus projects (events, parades, festivals). Last he asked that they be allowed to come back on March 25 and give a report to the board on a process for Community Organization and Economic Development program funding.

Board Chairman Ron Briggs noted that $200,000 was a lot of money and the board had worked hard over the past six months to bring the budget into balance. Saying he was grateful for how much volunteers had already done with so little, he asked for more information on how the $200,000 would be used.

Board member Ron Mikulaco also wanted to know who would decide how the money would be spent and how to create a policy countywide that would make everyone happy given the diversity of communities and interest groups.

After additional discussion, a motion was made by Supervisor Brian Veerkamp to direct staff to bring the matter back on March 25 with language to enable the board to take action.

The board also received a mid-year update on the budget from Chief Budget Officer Laura Schwartz. Schwartz reported that based on current data, General Fund revenues are expected to exceed expenses by a little under $1.1 million. The county also maintains a $9 million reserve for economic uncertainties.

The county is still projecting shortfalls over the next five years including a $5.3 million shortfall in 2013-14; an $8.2 million shortfall in 2014-15; an $8.7 million in 2015-16; a $9.2 million in 2016-17; and an $8.8 million shortfall in 2017-18.

Despite that information, Auditor-Controller Joe Harn said El Dorado County was in better shape than many others.

Chief Probation Officer, Greg Sly also gave an update on the public safety realignment program. Under the program, non-violent felons are incarcerated in county jails to relieve over-crowding in state prisons. The state pays counties for incarcerating them. Sly proposed contracting with probation to use part of their facility in case the jail ever reaches capacity. He said he would return with a more specific proposal in July.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or dhodson@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 13 comments

  • Friends of the Veterans Monument, IncFebruary 27, 2013 - 6:23 am

    Supervisor Briggs, since the TOT tax was passed on the backs of veterans in El Dorado County who never received a penny, it would be fair to give 1 1/2 percent of the TOT tax for the maintenance, expansion for seating and annual programs of the El Dorado County Veterans Monument.

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  • robertdnollFebruary 27, 2013 - 8:02 am

    tax monies for themselves to attract more tax monies for amenities such as parks but without any funding to pay for maintenance.No money for law enforcement but they do need zoning amendments,you know turning orchards into apartments

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netFebruary 27, 2013 - 8:12 am

    http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2011/06/lt-gov-gavin-newsom-adds-a-new.html look to the games--housing? hotels? stack n' pack communities...look at other hosting countries and how they prepared...years in advance--just saying. Could be wrong ;)

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  • Phil VeerkampFebruary 27, 2013 - 8:26 am

    "The county is still projecting shortfalls over the next five years including a $5.3 million shortfall in 2013-14; an $8.2 million shortfall in 2014-15; an $8.7 million in 2015-16; a $9.2 million in 2016-17; and an $8.8 million shortfall in 2017-18." . . . . Perhaps a performance clause within the "language to enable the board to take action" might grease the skids? If $200,000 of "seed" yields no crop then CEDAC will be obligated to pay for the "seed".

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  • Phil VeerkampFebruary 27, 2013 - 8:27 am

    i off

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netFebruary 27, 2013 - 8:38 am

    http://www.tahoebonanza.com/article/20110304/NEWS/110309963 Im just providing articles of thought--not sure what is the correct answer. I finally read up on the UN s 21st agenda...interesting...you tube has a two min vid...The Natural Step and Sustainability explained in 2 minutes. Londons bid (its mission or visioning) 1. 5 London’s bid made some ambitious statements relating to the 5 boroughs and the London context in general. Through the hosting of the Olympic Games, it would: • Maximise job opportunities through the Games • Develop Skills • Support local business • Volunteering • Reduce worklessness and child poverty • Encourage healthy eating, sports participation, physical activity, children’s health, • Raise life expectancy sound familiar? you can see bidding vids on you tube from many places through out the last years--all hoping the games will come...you decide. I believe in caring for our planet--I believe in a balance between humans and the environment. I do not believe in manipulation. Some will make money--lots. Some will make some. Some will not. I just hope children are not forgotten. I would really suggest some work on their visual and performing art skills...and really pay attention to the children. The games primary mission is to support PEACE. They will look for this as well in the bidding process--children--the arts--how the poor are respected--elders--vets...really important to the global idea of peace. .Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. Albert Einstein

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netFebruary 27, 2013 - 8:46 am

    http://travelnevada.com/press/article/rural-grants-awards-headline-goes-here/ The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT)NCOT, which receives three-eighths of 1 percent of room tax revenue as its operating budget, uses a part of those funds to offer the Marketing Grants Program, designed to help nonprofit groups and government agencies in rural Nevada enhance visitation and boost revenue from overnight stays.

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  • EvelynFebruary 27, 2013 - 9:09 am

    Until recently I had did not know that the rapidly proliferating tax-exempt organizations received government funds (taxpayer money). As it appears they're increasingly being funded by government/taxpayers, it would be useful to know by what percentage.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • francescaduchamp@att.netFebruary 27, 2013 - 9:29 am

    Evelyn...interesting question...now I would like to know. Here is a link for Art history--history matters--think visual and performing arts for El Dorado county...when you get to my families name (that was recently insulted)sorry I am a DuChamp--Europeans will know the name..lololol http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/art-history-for-dummies-cheat-sheet.html To El Dorado county Libraries--google Pollock Pines images...and when you get to the library s mural..think about the importance of images on public buildings...just cant un ring that bell. Also one might look into the importance of Children s Art globally--before you get rid of it. Hundreds looking up images for our county. The Visual and Performing Arts and Libraries--my passion...please stop insulting them. Europe, New York, Los Angeles, the Bay area...(I could go on)are going to be shaking their heads--use the cheat sheet-- buy the book. Do not make any decisions before you talk to the El Dorado Arts Council.

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netFebruary 27, 2013 - 9:47 am

    I was just speaking with a vet--id listen to the Friends of the Veterans Monument--countries all over the world care about their soldiers and their seniors...passionately--just saying. This is about a global uniting of people--people should start reading outside their box. Many countries look at our visual and performing arts as being in the "infant" stage--they have many decades on us...and they bring that knowledge with them. Any visual Art will be looked at through that knowledge. Hope that monument shines.

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netFebruary 27, 2013 - 10:04 am

    starting point for a non profit http://www.bbb.org/us/charity/

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netFebruary 27, 2013 - 10:07 am

    https://www.ftb.ca.gov/businesses/exempt_organizations/

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netFebruary 27, 2013 - 10:09 am

    http://www.taxexemptworld.com/organizations/el-dorado-county-ca-california.asp

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