Placer Supervisors approve series of urgency ordinances in response to COVID-19
Published on May 8, 2020
The Placer County Board of Supervisors approved a series of urgency ordinances in response to the COVID-19 emergency.
In the first of two urgency ordinances, the board voted to delay the annual adjustment of impact fees until October instead of July.
The county collects development impact fees to fund infrastructure necessitated by growth.
Every year staff brings impact fees to the Board of Supervisors to make adjustments pursuant to changes in a specified consumer price index or a consumer cost index to make sure that the fees keep up with inflation.
County staff determined that the timing of the fee adjustments was problematic given the COVID-19 emergency and its financial impacts on the community.
The Building Industry Association and other industry experts recently cited concerns over an increase in fees due to an expected decrease in construction activity because of the COVID-19 crisis.
The board may choose to further delay fee adjustments at the July board meeting.
For the second urgency ordinance, the board voted to suspend penalties and interest on an interim basis until July 31 for unpaid transient occupancy taxes that were due for the first quarter of this calendar year.
Reporting is still required but the suspension of penalties and interest will allow additional time to process and send payments to Placer County. The urgency ordinance will also help alleviate additional administrative burdens so that operators can focus their efforts elsewhere.
Many lodging operators and organizations were required by the governor’s executive order to stop operating their businesses to help flatten the COVID-19 curve and this took a heavy toll on revenue, which has caused many operators and organizations to miss the TOT remittance deadlines.
“The lodging community and TOT certificate holders in Placer County have done a remarkable job in cooperating with the governor’s executive order, which has contributed to public safety and supports the area’s finite health care system,” said Placer County Revenue Services Manager Doug Jastrow. “Of particular note are the efforts of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association to inform would-be visitors to eastern Placer County of the executive order’s limits to commercial lodging and non-essential travel.”
Taxes paid by visitors help fund services benefitting the entire county including public infrastructure projects and tourism marketing and promotion, but are also used for public safety, transportation, libraries, parks and historical and environmental preservation projects. TOT must be collected not just by traditional lodging providers like hotels but also by those who provide lodging through internet-based services like Airbnb, HomeAway and Vacation Rentals By Owner.