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San Benito
February 27, 2024

County looks at boosting economic development budget by $67k

County supervisors Tuesday are set to consider increasing the annual economic development allocation by $67,000.

The San Benito County Board of Supervisors are set to meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the County Administration Building, 481 Fourth St.

The county previously approved a $35,000 allocation for economic development organizations during budget hearings, but newly elected Supervisor Jim Gillio requested an increase to the amount.

The board agenda includes three possible scenarios with the money: hiring a full-time economic development coordinator while potentially working with the cities to share costs, contracting out the position to a non-government organization, or increasing funding to economic development organizations, according to the agenda.

The agenda report notes how the county terminated a lobbyist contract that amounted to $67,000 for the remainder of the fiscal year, with a recommendation that the board use those funds for the added allotment for a total of $102,000.

To see more detail on the proposed increase to the economic development efforts, go here.

The board will also consider setting cannabis activities tax rates.

According to the agenda:

On June 5, 2018, the voters of the unincorporated San Benito County approved an ordinance imposing a tax on cannabis business activities. In addition, the Board approved cannabis business regularly ordinances on December 11, 2018. The “Cannabis Business Activities Tax Measure” was drafted to reflect tax policy decisions from the Board which includes the following:

  • A general tax containing no restriction on its appropriations, such that it is available for any general governmental purpose and allows the Board the flexibility to mitigate impacts of cannabis businesses in the County of San Benito as they become known.
  • The tax applies to the unincorporated area of San Benito County, and excludes cannabis business activities occurring within the jurisdictional limits of the incorporated cities.
  • The method of taxing cultivation cannabis business activities is per square footage of canopy, i.e., a canopy tax.
  • The method of taxing non-cultivation cannabis business activities is a percentage of gross receipts.
  • A range of the tax rate to allow the Board the flexibility to lower or increase tax rates.
  • An annual CPI increase to account for inflation (applicable to cultivation-type cannabis businesses).

The applicable ranges are included in the existing ordinance.

To read details on the tax numbers, go here.

For the full county board agenda for Tuesday, go here.