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Transient Occupancy Tax

Taxes paid on temporary lodging are called Transient Occupancy Taxes (TOT).

The County of Santa Clara collects TOT on hotels, motels, short-term rentals, and recreational vehicle sites located in unincorporated areas of the County.

If you're an owner of temporary lodging in unincorporated Santa Clara County, use TOT Online to:

  • Register your property
  • Report your TOT collections
  • Pay your TOT
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What is Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT)?
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TOT—also called “hotel tax” or “bed tax”—is a lodging tax paid by anyone who rents a home, room, or space for 30 consecutive days or less. The owner or operator of the rental collects, reports, and pays the tax using TOT Online.​​​​​​​​​

Why is it called “Transient” Occupancy Tax?
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“Transient” in this context means short-term. The tax is collected from lodgers who rent a room or space for 30 days or less.

Do I need to pay TOT on my rental property?
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You pay the tax if you’re an owner or operator of temporary lodging in an unincorporated area of Santa Clara County.

Temporary lodging is a hotel, inn, motel, recreational vehicle site, tourist house or room. This can include your home if you rent your space using sites like Airbnb, Home Away, etc.​

How much is the tax?
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The tax is 8% of your property’s rental price.​

When do I collect the tax?
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Collect the tax when you receive payment for the rental. On the customer’s receipt, list the tax separately from the rental price.​​​​​

When and how do I register my rental property with the County?
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You’re required to register your property within 30 days of your first rental.

Register your property at TOT Online.​​​​​

How often do I pay TOT?
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Pay the previous month’s TOT on or before that last day of the current month. For example, pay October’s TOT on or before November 30.

Pay your monthly tax at TOT online.​​​

What happens if my TOT payment is late?
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If you the miss the end-of-the-month deadline, you’ll pay:

  • a penalty that’s 10% of the overdue tax and
  • 1.5% interest on the overdue amount

If your tax is unpaid for more than 30 days, you’ll pay another 10% penalty on the overdue amount.​​​​​​​​​​​​

Are any short-term lodgers exempt from paying TOT?
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Two types of short-term lodgers do not need to pay TOT:

  • Federal or state workers on official business
  • International governmental employees who are exempted by federal law or international treaty
Where do my transient occupancy taxes go?
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Each year, the first $500,000 in transient occupancy taxes supports art and culture projects in the County of Santa Clara. The remaining taxes fund human service needs in the County.​​​​​​​​

TOT Online is hosted and managed by HdL Companies. For questions about the online service contact HdL at:

HdL Companies Processing Center
8839 N. Cedar Avenue #212
Fresno, CA 93720
(408) 329-9654

Read the County's TOT Ordinance.

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Last updated: 10/1/2019 9:41 AM