Following years of inadequate funding, many rural fairs and fairgrounds were on the brink of elimination and in need of a long-term revenue stream. In 2017, RCRC supported Assembly Bill 1499 by Assembly Member Adam Gray (D-Merced) to dedicate a portion of the state’s share of sales and use tax collected from transactions at fairgrounds to support the network of qualifying fairs. To date, over $18.6 million has been collected under this legislation, but no proceeds have yet to be dispersed.
On November 29, 2019, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) initiated rulemaking on how to allocate these revenues to qualified fairs and fairgrounds, but still has not provided any insight on how much money fairs can ultimately expect to be distributed for operational support or other projects. For example, there is no proposed funding formula or maximum grant caps proposed. RCRC seeks to ensure that CDFA expedite this much needed funding and fulfill the intent of AB 1499 to fund the operation needs of fairs and fairgrounds to service the various needs of the communities they serve.