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Monday, December 10 , 2018, 5:05 pm | Mostly Cloudy 63º


Santa Barbara City Council Talks Budget, Tourism

The city sets aside a $6.8 million payment to the state, but it hopes to win litigation and keep the money

Members of the Santa Barbara City Council had their eyes on the money Tuesday.

The council authorized setting aside $6.8 million in Redevelopment Agency funds to pay the state’s Education Revenue Augmentation Fund shift.

Santa Barbara and other jurisdictions succeeded in a lawsuit against the state and kept the $1.4 million allocated to the state for the 2009 fiscal year.

The California Redevelopment Association challenged the state last year, and litigation is pending this year, said Brian Bosse, supervisor of housing and redevelopment. So the city allocated the funds as a precautionary measure, but if it’s successful again, it will keep the $6.8 million and spend it on capital projects.

The Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau and Film Commission also presented its latest numbers at Tuesday’s council meeting.

President and CEO Kathy Janega-Dykes said the industry will see slow, steady improvement this year.

Through social media, a focus on online promotions and targeting the Los Angeles area, the organization has been seeing success in its marketing, she said.

The hospitality industry still has interest in starting a tourism Business Improvement District, but the process has been much like the health-care debate — long and full of compromises, Janega-Dykes said.

During the two years of discussion, many nearby and competing jurisdictions — including the city and county of San Luis Obispo — have created their own.

A big worry for the industry is that the city would withdraw its funding if it created a BID. It’s intended to be a supplement to city funding, not a replacement, she said.

With a BID, the organization hopes to double its marketing funding to more than $3 million.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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