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Placer County's New Committee for Lodging Tax Funding

Members to be appointed by their represented organizations

Auburn, CA, - Lodging taxes collected from overnight guests in eastern Placer County have long been allocated for local, visitor-serving projects to benefit its tourism-based economy. Now a new committee will provide broader community input about which projects the county approves for funding.

The Capital Projects Advisory Committee, approved unanimously by the county Board of Supervisors, will be co-chaired by Placer County and the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association and comprised of 13 members representing the range of community interests in project investments in eastern Placer County.

The approval follows months of outreach by Placer County and NLTRA to increase community involvement in how project investments are made.

"I'm really thankful to county staff and the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association for working so diligently on this and expanding the footprint of this committee, both geographically and in terms of interests," said Board Chairwoman and District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery. "Representing the full range of our eastern Placer County residents and businesses is so important for making sure our future investments benefit everyone in our community."

Members of the new committee will be appointed by their represented organizations. Area business associations, special districts, the NLTRA and Placer County will each appoint two members, and two at-large members will be appointed jointly by Placer County and NLTRA. Three members will represent lodging providers, the Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Agency and Placer's ski resorts. Terms for most members will be two years, with at-large members appointed for an initial three-year term and two-year terms to follow.

The committee will be responsible for recommending priorities for Placer County's Tourism Master Plan and reviewing and recommending project applications for lodging tax funding to the Board of Supervisors for approval. They'll also hold public meetings to review proposed projects and continually seek feedback from the community on investment priorities.

Last year, Placer County collected about $18 million in guest lodging taxes in eastern Placer County. With recent efforts succeeding in increasing compliance with the county's lodging tax ordinance, even more funding is expected to be available for local projects in the future.

In three community meetings in early November, the county and NLTRA sought input from local residents on the best way to spend lodging tax revenue on projects and services to improve quality of life and the visitor experience, as well as the structure of the new advisory committee. The committee makeup reflects strong interest from the community in broad geographic and industry representation.

"Our board is in full support of this new committee," said Cindy Gustafson, CEO of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. "On behalf of the board, I'd like to thank Placer County for their partnership and their continued investment in the future of North Lake Tahoe."

Representatives of the Donner Summit Area Association and the Tahoe City Downtown Association also spoke in support of the committee during the meeting.

With today's approval, committee members will be appointed over the coming weeks, and appointments will be brought before the Board of Supervisors in February 2018. The committee will review project applications for the next fiscal year in March, with consideration of the committee's recommendations by the Board of Supervisors to follow.

Since 1996, Placer County has partnered with NLTRA to market North Lake Tahoe and recommend how to prioritize transportation and infrastructure goals outlined in the county's Tourism Master Plan.

In recent months, county staff based in North Lake Tahoe and the NLTRA hosted a number of community meetings and workshops to seek feedback on how the county and NLTRA can include broader community perspective in prioritizing infrastructure and transportation projects in the region. Previously, review and recommendation of local projects to the Board of Supervisors were the responsibility of NLTRA's Capital Infrastructure and Transportation Committee, under its contract with Placer County.

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