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Wellness and Physical Fitness

In support of the Board of Supervisors initiative to be the healthiest county in California, the County provides this annual allowance which can be used towards a variety of options which promote physical activity, wellness and work-life balance. The goal is to provide County employees as many options and as much flexibility as possible to find a physical activity which promotes aerobic exercise, flexibility, and/or strength training.

In support of the County’s Strategic Plan to invest in the local economy and to promote “LIVE-WORK-PLAY SONOMA,” County employees have access to a wide variety of activities, services, equipment and products within Sonoma County and are encouraged to "Buy Local".

You can access other physical fitness and wellness ideas on the Healthy Habits webpage at http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/HR/Benefits/Healthy-Habits/Health-Maintenance/Physical-Activity/. You can also go to Kaiser Permanente Find Your Thing which promotes aerobic exercise, flexibility, and strength training.

What Benefits are Taxable and Non-Taxable?

The County recognizes there are a wide variety of activities that lead to improved physical fitness and emotional health. Generally accepted and proven forms of activities that lead to improved physical or emotional health may be considered reimbursable activities. The general guideline is the activity must be:

  • Educational and/or action oriented designed to modify lifestyles or behaviors
  • Increase body awareness or improve muscular, skeletal or cardio strength, flexibility or stability
  • Activities related to emotional health and physical fitness, and equipment necessary to participate safely in the activity may be reimbursed.

Requirements for Wellness and Physical Fitness reimbursement

  • Reimbursement for all wellness and physical fitness are taxable.

Donations to Probation Department On-site Athletic Facilities

Certain designated employees (as outlined in the applicable Memorandum of Understanding) may make contributions from the allowance for on-site athletic facilities. Such contributions are non-taxable.

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Entry, Registration, Participation, and League Fees

Tax treatment: taxable

Team RegistrationReimbursable expenses include:

  • Fees for participation in group, team, or league sporting activities
  • Softball League 
  • Golf League
  • Foot Race Entry Fees (5k,10k, Marathon, Sonoma County Human Race, etc.)
  • Bicycle Race Entry Fees (Le Tour de Fuzz, Sonoma County Backroad Challenge, etc.)

Please note:

  • Fees for individual employee participating on a team only. Fee for entire team excluded.

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Fitness Classes

Tax treatment: taxable

Indoor Group Cycling

Reimbursable expenses include:

  • Physical fitness / exercise classes, certified trainers
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Zumba
  • Boot Camp
  • T’ai Chi
  • Indoor Group Cycling

Please note:

  • Travel, lodging, and food are not reimbursable under Wellness.

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Health and Wellness Promotion & Education

Tax treatment: taxable

Guided MeditationStress reduction programs, work-life balance, wellness workshops, conferences, on-line training.

Reimbursable expenses include:

  • Classes and educational programs with primary focus to improve health and wellness.
  • Wellness workshops, on-line training
  • Includes meditation, massage, and acupuncture.

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 Health Club Membership

Tax treatment: taxable

Health ClubTo pursue or maintain personal health and physical fitness.

Reimbursable expenses include:

  • Offsite health clubs
  • Physical fitness/exercise classes

Please note:

  • Locations within Sonoma County or county of residence are encouraged but not required.

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Onsite Workplace Athletic Facilities

BarbellTax treatment: taxable

Reimbursable expenses include:

On-site workplace athletic facilities and/or wellness and physical fitness programs offered by employer

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Park Passes

Regional Parks LogoTax treatment: taxable

Promotes outdoor physical activity and utilization of all local, state, and federal public park systems.

Reimbursable expenses include:

  • Annual cost for an individual park pass.

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Personal Training

Tax treatment: taxable

Personal TrainerPersonalize focus to improve form, modify impact to reduce sports injury, advice, and coaching.

Reimbursable expenses include:

  • Strength training
  • Pilates reformer training
  • Personal training
  • Suspension System training
  • Fitness Assessments

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    Physical Fitness Products and Equipment

    Tax treatment: taxable

    Fitness EquipmentReimbursable expenses include:

    • Exercise videos, DVD’s, software, books, and periodicals.
    • Sporting and exercise equipment, athletic safety and protective gear, running shoes, weights, gloves, exercise mats.
    • Excludes clothing, fitness apparel, and uniforms.

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      Recreational Classes and Sport Lessons

      Tax treatment: taxable

      Sports LessonsIndividual or group lessons with a primary focus aimed at gaining skills or improving technique in a sport or recreational activity which often is competitive.

      Reimbursable expenses include:

      • Personal training and individual coaching
      • Tennis
      • Golf
      • Karate
      • Ice Skating
      • Dance classes

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      Smoking Cessation Programs

      Tax treatment: taxable

      Quit Smoking TodayPrograms that improve general heath, or as treatment for specific disease.

      Reimbursable expenses include:

      • Smoking cessation programs
      • Patches
      • Stress reduction programs

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      Weight Reduction Programs

      Tax treatment: taxable

      Weight LossPrograms that improve general health, or as treatment for specific disease.

      Reimbursable expenses include:

      • Exercise programs
      • Diet management programs (Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc.)
      • Stress reduction programs
      • Nutrition Classes
      • Healthy eating and cooking classes to support health related goals
      • Weight loss coaching

      Please note:

      • Excludes food, food preparation equipment and food and nutritional supplements, medications
      • Excludes residential dietary/weight loss programs
      • Coverage is for programs not covered or offered in a County offered health plan

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      Exceptions and Exclusions

      ExclusionsThe following provides a list of exclusions with examples. This list is NOT all inclusive, and the County reserves the right to exclude any expense which may not conform to the intent for the use of County funds or resources. Employees are encouraged to seek guidance from the Department of Human Resources at StaffDev@sonoma-county.org for clarification of these exclusions and reimbursable expenses before incurring the expense.

      • Uniforms physical fitness or athletic clothing and apparel, including hats, and sunglasses
      • Swimming pools, spas, saunas, hydrotherapy pools, or other similar items
      • Martial arts supplies and equipment which are considered weapons or combative devices, such as knives, swords, nunchucks, batons
      • Any expenditure related to hunting, fishing and camping and other outdoor activities not specifically outlined in the list of physical fitness activities located on the Healthy Habits Physical Activity webpage at http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/HR/Benefits/Healthy-Habits/Health-Maintenance/Physical-Activity/. Outdoor activities which include physical fitness activity such as hiking boots used to promote physical activity in conjunction with hunting are acceptable.
      • Lockers and locks
      • Food, food and nutritional supplements, food preparation equipment, and medications.
      • Maintenance agreements, service, or repair costs for eligible equipment. (eg bike repairs, tennis racket re-stringing, golf club shaft repairs)
      • Residential dietary/weight loss programs
      • Any expenditures related to motorized vehicles or equipment (eg. golf carts, boats, electric scooters/bikes/skateboards)
      • Cost of animals, animal boarding, rental fees or expenses associated with storing or maintaining animals
      • Any equipment related to physical fitness activities involving animals, including saddles, tack, leashes, harnesses, lead ropes. This exclusion does not include safety equipment which may be necessary to participate in the physical fitness activity, such as boots, riding helmets, and gloves.
      • Tips are not reimbursable under Wellness.
      • Furniture, beds and bedding, mattresses, including massage or vibrating chairs, tables
      • Medical treatment and services which are usual and customarily provided through medical insurance, including co-pays, psychotherapy and hypnotherapy.
      • Personal grooming services, such as facials, manicures, pedicures, botox injections, or other cosmetic enhancements.
      • Fees for individual employee participating on a team only. Fee for entire team excluded.
      • Travel, lodging, and food are not reimbursable under Wellness and Physcial Fitness

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      Contact Information

      Fiscal Admin Unit

      Business Hours
      Monday – Friday
      8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
      Address
      575 Administration Drive
      Room 116 B
      Santa Rosa, CA 95403
      38.465237, -122.725363

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      Healthy Habits

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      Find events, tips, tools, and myriad resources to help you maintain your well-being.

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