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Hotel Operator, Duties, Penalties & ExceptionsBusiness Licenses

Hotel Packages

If non-rent items, such as meals, golf, tennis, etc., have been included in a hotel package or as complimentary items, their cost should not be included in rent, but should be itemized separately on the guest's receipt for proper calculation of the TOT.

Duties of the Hotel Operator

As the operator of a commercial lodging establishment and pursuant to the Municipal Code, you are responsible to:

  1. Register the hotel with the City's Finance Department no later than 30 days after the start of business. Complete the registration form, along with City Business License application.
  2. Collect the Tax from each guest at the time the rent is paid. A receipt, showing payment of the TOT must be provided to each paying guest. An operator may not advertise or suggest that the tax will not be added to the rent, will be absorbed by the operator, or will be refunded (except as provided in the Code).
  3. Preserve all hotel tax records which are necessary in the tax collector's judgment to determine the amount of the tax charged for a minimum of three years.

When should an operator collect the TOT?

The hotel operator shall collect the tax from the guest at the time the rent is collected. If rent is paid in installments, a proportionate share of the taxes should also be collected.

How should an operator account for TOT?

All taxes collected by the hotel operator must be held in a trust account. This account is used to separately identify money which belongs to the City but which has been temporarily entrusted with the operator until payment is forwarded to the tax collector.

What if the lodging business closes?

Should the business cease to operate for any reason, notify the City Finance Department. You must then file a final return and pay any taxes due immediately.

What if an operator files the tax late?

If the tax return and payment is received by the City post-marked after the due date, penalty and interest charges shall be assessed beginning on the first day the tax becomes delinquent.

The penalty is equal to ten percent of the amount of the tax, plus the tax itself.

How can late penalties be avoided?

No penalty will be added if a return is:

1.Received in the Finance Office on or before the due date, by the end of business day; or
2.Postmarked by U.S. Post Office cancellation mark by midnight on the due date (metered post marks are not acceptable).

Are there any exemptions?

Those who are exempt from paying TOT are as follows:

*Review claim form for refund information required

1.Any federal officer or employee on official business;
2.Any officer or employee of a foreign government who is exempt by a provision of the federal law or international treaty;
3.Any Red Cross, Amtrak, US Postal Service, Federal Credit Union and Insurance Company employee serving on official government business (i.e. earthquake emergency response, etc.)

Last Updated: Apr 20, 2013