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County Supervisors OK Renewed Santa Ynez TBID

A recently revamped Santa Ynez Valley Tourism Business Improvement District is set to take effect in July.

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday cleared the way for final approval of the Visit Santa Ynez Valley-run TBID with unanimous approval renewing the plan, which was set to expire at the end of a five-year term June 30.

The SYVTBID was initially formed in 2010 to increase tourism marketing efforts, and it applies to hotels and other lodging in Solvang and Buellton and the unincorporated county areas of Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Ballard and Santa Ynez.

Supervisors approved the SYVTBID for a six-year term beginning July 1.

The Solvang City Council, which acts as the lead jurisdiction in the renewal, is expected to officially sign off on the plan later this month after adopting a resolution with intent to approve in January.

Since county supervisors got their first look at the proposed TBID earlier this year, Visit Santa Ynez Valley reworked the original, which planned a 10-year term and included assessing vacation rentals.

The organization’s executive director, Shelby Sim, said Visit Santa Ynez Valley removed vacation rentals to give governments more time to bring them into compliance with the law.

The TBID currently assesses 125 properties — a total of 1,591 rooms — at $2 per paid occupied room per night. Solvang has the most rooms (749), followed by Buellton (585) and unincorporated county areas (257).

Once the revamped version takes effect, the assessment rate will increase to $2.50 per paid occupied room.

The total TBID budget for the renewal year is estimated at approximately $885,000, which is expected to fluctuate along the same lines as room sales and assessment rates.

Each city and the county will collect the assessment on a monthly basis, and once a year hotel owners will have the opportunity to protest the TBID. If a majority of them do, then Solvang could terminate the district.

“I think you’re doing tremendous work,” said valley representative Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr, who asked to see more regular reports from Visit Santa Ynez Valley in the future.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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