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Campground Occupancy Tax Plan Moves Ahead

The Tuolumne County Supervisors in Northern California are moving ahead with a plan to ask voters to expand the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT).

Expanding the TOT to include campgrounds, house boats and RV parks would bring the county an estimated $350,000 a year, mymotherlode.com reported. The additional funding would be used to help Railtown 1897 and the Mother Lode Fairgrounds.

The supervisors voted 5-0 to direct county staff to draft a proposal to go before voters during the June election. The final proposal will have to be approved by the board at a later meeting.

Several people came to speak on the plan and just one spoke against it. Among those in favor was Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director George Segarini, who says the proposal is endorsed by his group’s Governmental Affairs Committee.

Tim Wyman, president of the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau Board of Directors, says his organization held an emergency meeting Monday and voted unanimously to support of the TOT expansion.

A few community members came up and asked that youth and religious camps be exempt from the TOT, which is an idea the supervisors appeared willing to include in the final plan.

Only one person argued against the TOT expansion, saying it would send a bad message to RV users and campers considering a visit to the area.

The TOT was first approved in 1983. It was increased by voters in 2010 from 8% to 10%.

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Comments Disabled To "Campground Occupancy Tax Plan Moves Ahead"

#1 Comment By Isaac Kight On February 9, 2012 @ 12:42 am

I would like to note that Tuolumne County has beauty that cannot be seen anywhere else. Yosemite, Railtown 1897, Dodge Ridge Ski Resort, and Black Oak Casino are just a few of our attractions. I can understand the frustration but do realize that our county has one of the lowest sales tax rates in the state, we have maintained a balanced budget despite a significant downturn in the economy with only a small increase in taxes (our TOT went up from 8% to 10% in 2010). We use our TOT to help support our fire, ambulance, and other county services that visitors are more than welcome to take advantage of, thus making certain that everyone who has access to these services helps to pay for them. Some of the TOT revenues also finance our Visitor’s Bureau to help us market our community to invite visitors, and provide more information to travelers.

Railtown 1897 is a unique and wonderful park. It has the famous Steam Locomotive #3 that has been in many films including Back to the Future III, Little House on the Prairie, and the old WIld WIld West Series. You, too, can hitch a ride on this living history by purchasing an inexpensive ticket! It is important to protect this treasure.

I cannot defend the actions of our state, which has been far less than fiscally responsible. California is a big state and not everyone agrees with those who have mismanaged it. Please forgive us for having to pursue such desperate measures in order to keep our history alive. Several other plans were explored, unfortunately, none of the other options panned out.

We still appreciate your business and would like to see you come. Thank you and G-d Bless!

~Isaac Kight
Tuolumne County Planning Commissioner