Lompoc, CA – Last night by a 5-0 vote the Lompoc City Council adopted a resolution opposing Lompoc’s inclusion in the proposed Santa Barbara County Wine Business Improvement District (BID). The proposed Wine BID (“Wine Preserve”) would have required Lompoc wineries to pay a 1% assessment on all CA retail “sales that incur California sales tax,” increasing Lompoc sales tax to 9.75%.
For over two years, the Santa Barbara Vintners have been strategizing for a Wine BID to raise funding for the operating budget of Santa Barbara Vintners. Over 46% of the projected $1 million budget would be for administrative costs, “salaries, overhead and reserves,” an enormous expenditure by any measure. Most non-profit organizations spend 10-15% of the budget on administrative costs.
“Many wineries in this area have seen a dramatic loss in wholesale revenue due to the closure of wine bars, restaurants and retail shops. Now, more than ever, wineries rely on tasking room revenue to help make up for the loss in the wholesale revenue,” said Flying Goat Cellars proprietor Norm Yost. Ampelos Cellars proprietors Rebecca & Peter Work and Clos Pepe Vineyard proprietor Steve Pepe were also present at the October 20 Council meeting to support the Resolution. No one spoke in favor of the Wine BID.
Flying Goat Cellars proprietor Kate Griffith crafted the “Resolution Opposing Inclusion of Lompoc in the Santa Barbara County Wine Business Improvement District” and circulated it with the Lompoc wine community. Griffith collected over 30 signatures from Lompoc winery owners supporting the resolution. At the October 6th City Council meeting, she presented a request to the Lompoc City Council for the Resolution to be included as an agenda item for the October 20 City Council meeting.
“In the 18 years that I have lived in Santa Barbara County, the proposed Wine BID has done more to polarize and mobilize wineries opposed to it than anything else. The Lompoc Resolution sets a precedent for other jurisdictions to emulate,” said Griffith ajer the Resolution passed on Tuesday night.
About Flying Goat Cellars:
Flying Goat Cellars is a family owned and operated winery dedicated to producing ageworthy Pinot and Sparkling wines since 2000. Proprietor/Winemaker Norm Yost has been in the wine industry for over forty years; he moved to Santa Barbara County in 1998. Flying Goat Cellars has been located in the City of Lompoc since 2004. Proprietor/Chief Philosopher Kate Griffith has been working with Flying Goat since 2010, when the couple married. Both Yost and Griffith have served on the Board of Directors for the Santa Barbara Vintners.
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