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Utility Users Tax InformationBusiness Licenses

Utility Users Tax (UUT) is a general tax levied on the use of residential and commercial utility services, including water, refuse, electric, and natural gas. The City’s Utility Users Tax rate is 6%.

Telecommunications Utility Users Tax (Telecommunications UUT) is a general tax levied on telephone, cellular, VoIP, video, and cable television services. Measure G, establishing the tax on all telecommunications services, was passed by voters in November, 2008. The current rate, levied at 5.75%, became effective for all utility billings on or after April 1, 2009.

Both the regular Utility Users Tax and the Telecommunications Utility Users Tax are billed by utility providers on the monthly billings and then remitted to the City by the 20th of the following month.

Note that utility providers must obtain a Business License Tax Certificate as a result of conducting business within the city limits.

Santa Barbara's Utility Users Tax Rates

  • Utility Users Tax rate: 6%
  • Telecommunications Utility Users Tax rate: 5.75%

Reporting & Remittance

The utility uses tax and the remittance form must be submitted to the Finance Department on or before the 20th of each month for the taxes billed by the utility provider during the preceding month.

The full amount of the tax due shall be submitted along with the city’s Utility Users Tax remittance form. However, service providers and paying agents may use their own form as long as all of the information on the city’s form included and the correct tax rate is applied.


Tax collected but not reported and remitted to the Finance Department by the 20th of the following month will be considered delinquent. Delinquency penalties in remittance of tax collected or any deficiency determination is 15% of the total tax due.

Business License Tax

Any person conducting business from or in the City of Santa Barbara is subject to the City’s Business License Tax. Providing utility service to customers located in the City of Santa Barbara constitutes a presence in the City of Santa Barbara and requires a City Business License. Business license tax is based on gross receipts of sales; see section A4 of the tax table on page 2 of the Business License Tax Application.

Cessation of Service

Upon cessation of business for any reason, utility providers should notify the Finance Department in writing and remit all collected taxes immediately.

Last Updated: Apr 20, 2013
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