Transient Occupancy Tax

Imposition of Tax

For the privilege of occupancy in any hotel, each transient is subject to and shall pay a tax in the amount of 10% of the rent charged by the operator of the hotel.  This tax constitutes a debt owed by the transient to the County which is extinguished only by payment to the operator or to the County.

Exemptions

No tax shall be imposed upon any federal or state of California officer or employee when on official business, or any officer or employee of a foreign government who is exempt by reason of express provision of federal law or international treaty.

Operator's Duties

The operator shall collect the tax imposed by County Ordinance Code 64-4 to the same extent and at the same time as the rent is collected from every transient.  The amount of tax shall be separately stated from the amount of rent charged, and each transient shall receive a receipt for payment from the operator.

Initial Process

Within 30 days after commencing business, the operator of a hotel renting occupancy to transients shall register the hotel with the Tax Collector's Office and receive from the Tax Collector's Office a Tax Forms Workbook (in Excel).  The operator should also obtain a "transient occupancy registration certificate" to be at all times available upon demand on the premises by a transient or by the Tax Collector.  Whenever there is a change in the identity of the owner or operator, the operator must secure a new "transient occupancy registration certificate" for the premises and the Tax Collector shall require payment of all approved transient occupancy taxes paid up to the point of change.

Reporting and Remitting

The operator shall, on or before the last day of the month following the close of each calendar quarter, make a return to the Tax Collector, on the forms provided in the Tax Forms Workbook, of the total rents charged and received and the amount of tax collected for transient occupancies.  At the time the return is filed, the full amount of the tax collected shall be remitted to the Tax Collector.  Returns and payments are due immediately upon cessation of business for any reason.

Reporting and Payment Schedule

Period
January - March
April - June
July - September
October - December
Final Due Date
April 30th
July 31st
October 31st
January 31st
Delinquent Date
May 1st
August 1st
November 1st
February 1st


Penalties and Interest

The operator that fails to remit report and payment on time shall pay a penalty as follows:

On the Delinquent Date
On the Delinquent Date
On or before 30 days following Delinquent Date
Fraud
10% of the amount of the tax
0.5% per month of interest on amount of the tax
10% of the amount of the tax
25% of the amount of the tax


Records

It is the duty of the operator to keep and preserve, for a period of three (3) years, all records as may be necessary to determine the amount of such tax as may have been liable for collection of and payment to the County, which records the Tax Collector shall have the right to inspect at all reasonable times.

Refunds

Over or duplicate payments may be refunded provided a claim form is filed with the Tax Collector within one year of the date of payment.  

The operator may claim a refund or take as credit against taxes collected and remitted the amount overpaid, when it is established the person from whom the tax was collected was not a transient; provided, however, that neither a refund nor credit shall be allowed unless the amount of the tax so collected has either been refunded to the transient or credited to rent subsequently payable by the transient to the operator.

The transient may claim a refund by filing a claim but only when the tax was paid by the transient directly to the Tax Collector, or when the transient having paid the tax to the operator, the operator has not obtained a refund or credit for such tax.