What is the Transient
Occupancy Tax (TOT)?
The TOT or Bed Tax is a 12% tax
collected by the City of Carpinteria over
the rental rates charged for occupancy of
room or rooms, or
other living space, in a hotel, inn,
tourist home or house, motel or other
lodging establishment for a period of 30
consecutive days or less (short-term). The Transient Occupancy Tax
is authorized under the State Revenue and
Taxation Code Section 7280, as a source of
non-property tax revenue to local
What is the definition of
Transient related to the TOT?
"Transient" means any person(s) who
occupies a room, house, motel, condominium
or other lodging establishment for 30 consecutive days or less in exchange for
money, in-kind services or trade, etc.
with the property owner or operator for
the right to occupy the space.
How is the TOT collected?
The establishment operator or
manager is responsible for collecting the
tax from the “transient” who pays the
charge above the rental rate. The
1. Submit an application for a
TOT Business License
2. Complete a
TOT Remittance Form
3. Post and retain a Registration
Certificate and Business License in each
rental unit. The License and
Certificate will be issued by the
Remittance of TOT is required on a
quarterly basis to the City Finance
Department. The owner/operator may choose
to remit fees to the City at a shorter
interval, but not greater than a quarter.
See dates below.
Final Due Date
January, February, March
October, November, December
Can I rent my unit as a
Short-Term “Transient” rental?
If your unit is located in a zone
permitting part-time, short-term or
transient rentals within the City of
Carpinteria you may be permitted to do so.
The following zones permit transient
PRD – Planned Residential
PUD - Planned Unit Development District
CPD – Commercial Planned Development
You may not rent in R-1 -
Single Family Residential
What is a TOT Registration
Certificate and do I need one?
If you rent to a transient for 30
consecutive days or less, and/or you
advertise that your unit is available for
less than 30 consecutive days, and receive
income, services, trade, etc for the
occupied space you must obtain a
Registration Certificate. Upon
application approval, the City will issue
you a unique numbered Certificate for each
unit that you rent. This Certificate must
be prominently displayed in each unit.
Registration Certificates will
automatically be renewed if remittance
forms have been filed for each quarter,
regardless of whether units were rented or
Who needs a Business License?
The owner and the operator/manager
will be required to obtain a City of
Carpinteria Business License. If you
operate or live out of the City limits,
you will still be required to obtain an
“in City” Business License as you are
conducting business within the City.
What is the Cost for TOT
The current Business License Application
Fee is $55.00, the base tax fee is $10.00
and $1.00 per rental unit. In addition
there is a State-mandated Disability
Access Fee of $1.00 per Business License.
Renewal of an existing Business License
will not require an application fee but
will require payment of the base tax of
$10.00, the $1.00 per unit and the State
Disability Access Fee of $1.00. There is
no separate fee for the Registration
Certificate issued with the Business
Are there any exemptions to
collection of the TOT?
Any federal or California state
officer or employee can be exempted from
this tax if stay is due to official
business; and/or any foreign government
officer or employee who is exempt due to
an express provision of federal law or
international treaty. The exemption will
not be granted unless a claim is requested
at the time of rent collection.
How are TOT funds used?
TOT funds help pay for general
government services such as law
enforcement, Parks, sidewalk maintenance,
recreation programs, etc.
Who can contact if I have more
Please contact either John
Thornberry, Administrative Services
Director at (805) 684.5405 x 448 or by
firstname.lastname@example.org or Monique
Epley, Finance Supervisor at (805)
684.5405 x 406 or by email: email@example.com