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Finance Department
Finance Department

 Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT)

TOT: Transients

The Finance Department is responsible for the administration and collection of the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT). Berkeley Municipal Code Chapter 7.36 requires establishments that rent spaces to transients to register with the City and obtain and post a Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate.  The Municipal Code also imposes a Transient Occupancy Tax on guests of hotels of 12% of the rent charged.  As the owner or operator of such an establishment, it is your responsibility to collect, report, and remit these taxes on a monthly basis. 

Examples of establishments subject to the TOT include:

  • Hotel/Motel/B&B/Inn
  • Mobile Homes
  • Secondary operators (managing agent, booking agent, etc.)

Short-Term Rentals of any kind (e.g. houses, condos, or any other type of units) rented directly by the owner/operator, by property management companies or online hosting platforms such as AirBnB, VRBO, Craigslist, etc. 

For more information about Short-Term Rentals, please visit www.cityofberkeley.info/str.

Other Taxes and Fees That May Apply

  • 1% Berkeley Tourism Business Improvement District (BTBID) fee paid on taxable receipts by lodging businesses with five (5) rooms or more located within the BTBID boundaries.
  • Business license fee and taxes for: rental properties with three (3) dwelling units or more; any person who provides lodging for longer than 14 days for five (5) persons or more.
For short-term rentals:
  • 2% monthly enforcement fee for short-term rentals paid by the host operator on taxable receipts
  • $220 non-refundable Short-Term Rental Zoning Certificate application fee 
Definition of Terms Used With Transient Occupancy Tax 

  Hotel
Any structure, or any portion of thereof, which is occupied by transients for dwelling, lodging, or sleeping purposes and shall include, but is not limited to, any hotel, inn, tourist home, motel, studio hotel, lodging house, mobile home, public or private club. “Hotel” does not include hospital, convalescent home, foster home, or similar facility operated for the care of human beings.

  Occupancy
The use or possession, or the right to the use or possession, of any structure or portion of structure stated above.

  Operator
The person who is the proprietor of the hotel, whether in the capacity of owner, lessee, sublessee, mortgagee in possession, licensee, or any other capacity. This also includes vacation/part-time rental agencies.

  Person 
Any individual, firm, partnership, joint venture, association, social club, fraternal organization, joint stock company, corporation, estate, trust, business trust, receiver, trustee, syndicate, or any other group or combination acting as a unit.

  Rent
The consideration charged, whether or not received, for the occupancy of space in a hotel valued in money, whether to be received in money, goods, labor, or otherwise, including all receipts, cash, credit, and property and services of any kind or nature.

  Taxable Receipts
Taxable receipts include, but are not limited to, nightly rents, weekly rents, standard cleaning fees, pet fees, internet charges, late check-out fees, extra person fees, and resort fees.

  Transient 
 Any person who exercises occupancy or is entitled to occupancy by reason of concession, permit, right of access, license, or other agreement for a period of 30 consecutive calendar days or fewer. 

How to Obtain a Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate 

You must submit your application for a Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate within 30 days of commencing business. For short-term rentals, your application for the Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate is included when you apply for the Short-Term Rental Zoning Certificate (ZC-STR) online.  

 Apply for a Transient Occupancy Registration Tax Certificate   
Mail your completed application to:
 
City of Berkeley
Finance Department
Revenue Development Division
Attn: Transient Occupancy Tax
2180 Milvia Street, 3rd Floor
Berkeley, CA 94704
 

After your application has been processed, you will receive your Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate, which must be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises for which it is issued.

Who is the Transient Occupancy Tax Collected From?

The tax is collected from the transient occupant, and is paid to the hotel operator with the intended rent.

Who is Exempt?

  • Any occupancy with a duration of 30 days or more.
  • Any occupancy of hotels reserved exclusively for religious, charitable, educational, or welfare purposes.
  • Any hospital, convalescent home, foster home, or similar facility operated for the care of human beings.
  • Any asylum, jail, orphanage or other facility in which human beings are detained and housed under legal restraint.
  • Any housing owned by any governmental agency and used to house its employees or for governmental purposes.
  • Any housing furnished by an employer exclusively for employees.
 How to Remit Transient Occupancy Taxes to the City

The Transient Occupancy Tax must be remitted monthly and is due no later than the last day of the following month. For example, the TOT collected in the month of May must be remitted by June 30. 

Remittance of your monthly TOT returns may be submitted: 

How to Update or Change Information on the Transient Occupancy Tax Certificate

Fill out a new application, and mail to the address noted above. Please indicate what is being changed and when the change is effective.

How to Close Transient Occupancy Tax Certificate

Send your Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate back to this office with a letter explaining why you no longer require the Certificate. In order to fully close your account, it is necessary that your certificate be returned to this office within 30 days of the close of business, and all tax returns filed with payment through the close of business date.

Related Information

Questions?

Click here to visit our Frequently Asked Questions about Transient Occupancy Tax for Non Short-Term Rentals and Short-Term Rentals for more information. If you still have questions, please contact the Finance Department:  

 

 

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Finance Department, 1947 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: finance@cityofberkeley.info Phone: (510) 981-7200
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903
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