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.
In the early hours of October 9, 2017, the County of Sonoma responded to the Sonoma Complex Fires, which burned 17 square miles and destroyed over 7,000 structures, including 5,143 homes. It will take years to recover fully from the devastating fires. As a result, the Board of Supervisors approved and updated Community Investment Fund Policy that provides a four-year funding plan to maintain consistent funding for critical services that support the community’s recovery efforts.
The Community Investment Fund Program utilizes a portion of the TOT to encourage tourism, economic development, community engagement, and community services through a variety of grant award and funding avenues. The Program provides various grants to community non-profits for local events that will support businesses or enhance culture, and organizations that provide a benefit to the community. Additionally, the program provides grants to address impacts on safety due to tourism. The Program also provides funding to the Regional Parks Department, Economic Development Department, the Office of Recovery and Resiliency, and a number of other county department activities.
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 the Tourism Impact Fund.