Chapter 4.118
Snohomish County Tourism Promotion Area

Sections:

4.118.010    Tourism promotion area established.

4.118.020    Imposition of lodging charge.

4.118.030    Classification of lodging businesses.

4.118.040    Exemption from lodging charge.

4.118.050    Uses of lodging charge revenue.

4.118.060    Collection and administration.

4.118.070    Tourism promotion area fund.

4.118.080    Tourism promotion area advisory board.

4.118.090    Annual business plans.

4.118.100    Contracts authorized.

4.118.110    Modification and disestablishment.

4.118.010 Tourism promotion area established.

There is hereby established pursuant to RCW 35.101.080 a tourism promotion area to be known as the Snohomish County Tourism Promotion Area. The boundaries of the tourism promotion area include the area within the city limits of the City of Arlington, the Snohomish County portion of the City of Bothell, the City of Everett, the City of Edmonds, the City of Lynnwood, the City of Marysville, the City of Monroe, the City of Mountlake Terrace, and the City of Mukilteo and the unincorporated area of Snohomish County.

(Added by Ord. 10-112, Dec. 15, 2010, Eff date Mar. 15, 2011; Amended by Ord. 11-016, May 4, 2011, Eff date May 16, 2011)

4.118.020 Imposition of lodging charge.

(1) There is hereby imposed pursuant to RCW 35.101.050 a lodging charge on the furnishing of lodging by lodging businesses located within the tourism promotion area established by SCC 4.118.010 in the amount of:

(a) $1.00 per night of stay at each lodging business in Zone A as defined in SCC 4.118.030;

(b) $0.00 per night of stay at each lodging business in Zone B as defined in SCC 4.118.030; and

(c) $0.00 per night of stay at each lodging business in Zone C as defined in SCC 4.118.030.

(2) In chapter 35.101 RCW and this chapter, "lodging business" means a person that furnishes lodging taxable by the state under chapter 82.08 RCW that has 40 or more lodging units.

(Added by Ord. 10-112, Dec. 15, 2010, Eff date Mar. 15, 2011)

4.118.030 Classification of lodging businesses.

Lodging businesses located within the tourism promotion area established by SCC 4.118.010 shall be classified as follows:

(1) Zone A. Zone A encompasses lodging businesses located within the tourism promotion area that have 50 or more lodging units and are not in Zone B.

(2) Zone B. Zone B encompasses lodging businesses located within the tourism promotion area as that term is used in WAC 458-20-166 other than hotels, motels, and bed and breakfast facilities. Lodging businesses within this zone, as addressed in WAC 458-20-166, include only (i) trailer camps and recreational vehicle parks which charge for the rental of space to transients for locating or parking house trailers, campers, recreational vehicles, mobile homes, and tents; (ii) educational institutions which sell overnight lodging to persons other than students; (iii) private lodging houses, dormitories and bunkhouses operated by or on behalf of businesses and industrial firms or schools solely for the accommodation of employees of such firms or students which are not held out to the public as a place where sleeping accommodations may be obtained; and (iv) guest ranches or summer camps which, in addition to supplying meals and lodging, offer special recreational facilities and instruction in sports, boating, riding, outdoor facilities and instruction in sports, boating, riding, and outdoor living.

(3) Zone C. Zone C encompasses lodging businesses located within the tourism promotion area that have 40 to 49 lodging units.

(Added by Ord. 10-112, Dec. 15, 2010, Eff date Mar. 15, 2011)

4.118.040 Exemption from lodging charge.

Pursuant to RCW 35.101.055, the lodging charge imposed by SCC 4.110.020 shall not apply to temporary medical housing exempt under RCW 82.08.997.

(Added by Ord. 10-112, Dec. 15, 2010, Eff date Mar. 15, 2011)

4.118.050 Uses of lodging charge revenue.

(1) Revenue from lodging charges collected under this chapter shall only be used for the following purposes:

(a) The general promotion of tourism within Snohomish county as specified in the annual tourism promotion area business plan adopted pursuant to SCC 4.118.090,

(b) The marketing of convention and trade shows that benefit local tourism and the lodging businesses in the county,

(c) The marketing of Snohomish county to the travel industry in order to benefit local tourism and the lodging businesses in the county, or

(d) The marketing of Snohomish County to recruit sporting events in order to benefit local tourism and the lodging businesses in the county.

(2) The uses described in this section are limited to tourism promotion as defined in RCW 35.101.010 and may include payment of administrative costs associated with operation of the tourism promotion area as determined by the county council.

(3) Pursuant to RCW 35.101.130, the county council shall have sole discretion as to how the revenue derived from the lodging charge imposed by SCC 4.118.020 is to be used to promote tourism.

(Added by Ord. 10-112, Dec. 15, 2010, Eff date Mar. 15, 2011)

4.118.060 Collection and administration.

(1) The lodging charge imposed by SCC 4.118.020 shall be collected and administered by the state department of revenue and state treasurer in accordance with chapter 35.101 RCW. The county executive is authorized and directed to execute such contracts with the state as may be necessary to provide for collection or administration of the lodging charge.

(2) All distributions to the county from the local tourism promotion account created by RCW 35.101.100 shall be deposited into the tourism promotion area fund created by SCC 4.118.070.

(Added by Ord. 10-112, Dec. 15, 2010, Eff date Mar. 15, 2011)

4.118.070 Tourism promotion area fund.

(1) There is hereby created the tourism promotion area fund. The resources of the fund shall consist of distributions from the local tourism promotion account created by RCW 35.101.100 plus any investment or other income to the fund.

(2) The resources of the fund shall be subject to appropriation by the county council after considering the recommendations of the tourism promotion area advisory board, and shall be used only for the purposes described in SCC 4.118.050 in accordance with the applicable tourism promotion area business plan approved pursuant to SCC 4.118.090.

(3) The county executive shall appoint a fund manager whose name and title shall appear on a master list of fund managers maintained by the department of finance. The fund manager shall have the duties set out in SCC 4.05.050.

(Added by Ord. 10-112, Dec. 15, 2010, Eff date Mar. 15, 2011)

4.118.080 Tourism promotion area advisory board.

(1) There is hereby created the tourism promotion area advisory board to serve in an advisory capacity regarding the uses of lodging charges collected under this chapter, which shall include recommending annual business plans pursuant to SCC 4.118.090.

(2) The board shall be composed of 14 members. Appointments to the board shall be made pursuant to chapter 2.03 SCC, except that the county executive shall consult with the Snohomish County Lodging Association prior to recommending persons for appointment. At least one member shall represent a lodging business located in each county council district. A majority of the board shall represent lodging businesses that are subject to the lodging charges imposed by SCC 4.118.020.

(3) Members of the board shall be appointed to terms of three years except that the original appointments shall be made as follows: five for three years, five for two years, and four for one year. A member may serve a maximum of three consecutive terms. After a period of two years’ absence from the board, a person may again be appointed for up to three consecutive terms.

(4) A vacancy on the board resulting from the expiration of a term of office shall be filled by appointment for a term of three years. A vacancy occurring for any reason other than the expiration of a term of office shall be by appointment for the unexpired term of the office being filled.

(5) The board shall adopt bylaws providing for its organization. The bylaws shall provide for periodic election of a chairperson, vice-chairperson, and secretary. Meetings of the board shall be held in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 42.30 RCW.

(6) The county executive shall provide staff as necessary to support board activities from one or more appointed executive departments supervised by the executive, provided that staff may be provided by contract with a tourism marketing organization or similar organization pursuant to SCC 4.118.100.

(Added by Ord. 10-112, Dec. 15, 2010, Eff date Mar. 15, 2011)

4.118.090 Annual business plans.

(1) On or before January 31 of each year the tourism promotion area advisory board shall, after consultation with the county executive, submit to the county council for its approval a proposed annual business plan to govern the use of revenue derived from the lodging charge imposed by SCC 4.118.020 during the following calendar year. The advisory board shall develop an application process to facilitate consideration of proposed tourism promotion projects for incorporation into annual business plans, which process shall be presented to the council for approval by motion. The board shall submit with each proposed annual business plan a complete list of projects for which application was made for that year.

(2) Pursuant to RCW 35.101.130, the council may by motion approve the annual business plan, return to plan to the advisory board for further recommendations, or take such other action as it deems appropriate. The council may not add a project to the annual business plan that was not previously considered by the advisory board and calls for expenditure of lodging charge revenue without first referring the project to the advisory board and providing at least 20 days for comment unless the comment period is waived by the board.

(3) After it is approved by the council, the annual business plan shall govern the use of revenue derived from the lodging charge imposed by SCC 4.118.020 during the calendar year for which it is approved. The county council may from time to time approve amendments or modifications to the plan, acting by motion, subject to the comment period described in subsection (2) of this section.

(Added by Ord. 10-112, Dec. 15, 2010, Eff date Mar. 15, 2011).

4.118.100 Contracts authorized.

(1) Pursuant to RCW 35.101.130, the county may contract with tourism marketing organizations or other similar organizations to administer the operation of the tourism promotion area, provided that such contracts must be approved by the county council.

(2) As required by RCW 35.101.040, the county has been authorized by interlocal agreement adopted pursuant to Chapter 39.34 RCW to establish a tourism promotion area within the cities identified in SCC 4.118.010. The county may enter into such agreements with other cities or towns to take effect upon amendment of this chapter.

(Added by Ord. 10-112, Dec. 15, 2010, Eff date Mar. 15, 2011).

4.118.110 Modification and disestablishment.

(1) The county council may modify or disestablish the tourism promotion area by ordinance after adoption of a resolution of intention and public hearing. The resolution of intention shall describe the proposed action and state the time and place of the public hearing, and may be adopted by motion.

(2) The county council must adopt a resolution of intention and hold a public hearing to consider modification or disestablishment of the tourism promotion area if a petition for modification or disestablishment containing the signatures of persons who operate lodging businesses that pay over 40 percent of the lodging charge imposed by SCC 4.118.020 is filed with the clerk of the council.

(3) If a petition for disestablishment of the tourism promotion area containing the signatures of persons who operate lodging businesses that pay over 40 percent of the lodging charge imposed by SCC 4.118.020 is filed with the clerk of the council, the council must disestablish the tourism promotion area unless at the public hearing described in the resolution of intention protest is made by persons who operate lodging businesses that pay over 50 percent of the lodging charge imposed by SCC 4.118.020. An ordinance adopted under this paragraph shall take effect within a reasonable time as determined by the council.

(Added by Ord. 10-112, Dec. 15, 2010, Eff date Mar. 15, 2011).