Transient Occupancy Tax
The Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) is a tax levied against those who rent hotel/motel rooms within the City of San Bruno for 30 days or less. It is a common tax in cities throughout California and is collected by hotels/motels on behalf of City. Hotel occupants are referred to as "transients," in that they are renting space within the city on a temporary basis. For room rentals for the period on or after March 1, 2021, the City's TOT rate is increasing from 12% to 14% as a result of the passage of Measure X by San Bruno voters in November 2020.
Collection & Payments
Hoteliers are responsible for collecting the tax from occupants and are liable to the City for payment if they fail to collect it. The tax is to be charged separately from room charges and should be listed on receipts provided to the occupant.
Hoteliers are responsible for paying the full amount owed to the City for a given calendar month not later than the 30 days following the end of that month. A penalty of 10% is owed for late payments. For delinquencies that lapse another 30 days, Hoteliers shall pay a second delinquency penalty of ten % of the amount of the tax in addition to the amount of the tax and the ten % penalty first imposed. In addition to the penalties imposed, any operator or rental agent who fails to remit any tax imposed by this chapter shall pay interest at the rate of one % per month or fraction thereof on the amount of the tax, exclusive of penalties, from the date on which the remittance first became delinquent until paid. Interest shall be imposed on penalties from thirty days after an operator or rental agent is notified of a delinquency.
Along with payments, the hotelier must fill out the City's Transient Occupancy Tax Return Form for Rooms Rented (PDF).
Exemptions to payment of the tax are only permitted for:
- Any federal or state officer or employee when on official business
- Any officer or employee of a foreign government who is exempt by reason of express provision of federal law or international treaty
If an occupant believes he/she is exempt from the tax, the occupant must provide proof of such exemption to the hotelier at the time of occupancy; the hotelier is responsible for the filing of a Claim for Exemption From Transient Occupancy Tax Form (PDF), along with documentation showing why the occupant is exempt.
These forms are due to the City with the "Transient Occupancy Tax Return" form when monthly remittances are made.
Payments should be made to "City of San Bruno" and remitted via check or cashiers' checks to:
City of San Bruno
567 El Camino Real
San Bruno, CA 94066
Electronic remittances via wire or ACH are also allowed. Hoteliers wishing to set up electronic payments should contact the Finance Department.