The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors established the Community Investment Fund Program (formerly known as the Advertising Program) in 1986 utilizing Transient Occupancy Tax (Hotel/Motel Tax or Bed Tax) funds. The Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) is currently charged at a rate of 12% for accommodations at lodging and camping facilities in the unincorporated areas of the county.
The Community Investment Fund Program utilizes a portion of the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) to encourage tourism, economic development, and community engagement through a variety of grant award and funding avenues. The Program provides various grants to community non-profits for advertising and promoting events and the county as a visitor destination with the goal of advancing economic growth through tourism. Additionally, the program provides grants to promote agricultural promotion as well as address impacts on safety due to tourism. The Program also provides funding to the Regional Parks Department, Economic Development Department, and a number of other county department activities, all with the focus of encouraging tourism and awareness of our county.
The Board of Supervisors wishes to invest in the community by supporting economic and workforce development, community non-profit grants, community services and safety, and program integrity and administration. The Board of Supervisors also wishes to encourage tourism in the County by supporting a series of promotional, community, and cultural activities through the use of Community Investment funds for: regional and national advertising, support of the community's spirit and its art/cultural programs, and promotion of other special events as deemed consistent with the Community Investment Fund Policy.
The Board desires to designate available funds towards projects and initiatives that stimulate and expand the county's economic vitality, improve community services and mitigate the impacts of tourism in communities, and supporting non-profit organizations and events that promote arts and cultural activities, agricultural industry, historical preservation activities, and promotional activities which enhance tourism and industry.
The Community Investment Fund Program also provides funds for county departmental activities that benefit local tourism activities and the tourist industry, and which preserve and promote Sonoma County history.
In addition, the Board of Supervisors will track and distribute the 3% Measure L increase to TOT separately. The categories for these funds are as follows: Roads Repair and Improvement, Regional Parks, Fire Services, Affordable Housing, Code Enforcement and Operator Compliance, Event Facilities Improvements, and Tourism Impact Fund.