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Auditor-Controller Treasurer-Tax Collector Department

Transient Occupancy Tax and Business Improvement Area

Transient Occupancy Taxes and Business Improvement Area Assessments

The Revenue Accounting division handles the collection of the Transient Occupancy Tax and Business Improvement Area assessment.

Transient Occupancy Taxes

The Transient Occupancy Tax (Hotel, Motel, Campground or Bed Tax) is authorized under State Revenue and Taxation Code Section 7280, as an additional source of non-property tax revenue to local government. This tax is levied in Sonoma County at a rate of 12% for accommodations at lodging and camping facilities in the unincorporated areas of the County. Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) funds are discretionary, in that the Board of Supervisors may direct use of these funds for any legitimate county expense. The tax code does not require any specific use of the TOT funds.

The assessment of transient occupancy taxes is based upon Sonoma County's Code of Ordinances Chapter 12 Article III

Business Improvement Area Assessments

In November 2004, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved the establishment of a Tourism Business Improvement Area (BIA) assessment in various cities and in the unincorporated areas of the County. This assessment took effect January 2005; Section 33-5 of the Tourism BIA Ordinance states that each Operator of a Lodging establishment generating total rent during the preceding fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) of greater than Three Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($350,000) shall pay as an assessment equal to 2% of the rent charged by the operator. The operator of a lodging establishment subject to the BIA assessment is solely responsible for paying all assessments when due. The Treasurer-Tax Collector collects the BIA assessment from qualifying entities in the unincorporated areas of the County and also remittances from the member cities. The purpose for the BIA assessment is to provide revenue to defray costs of services, activities, and programs that promote and encourage tourism within the area. Visit Sonoma County Tourism's site to learn more about the BIA.

To view, download and/or complete any forms, please visit our TOT/BIA Forms section.

Important Information

Program and Agency Links

Community Investment Program (formerly known as the Advertising Program)
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors established the advertising program and policy in 1986 utilizing Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) funds. The promotion of tourism and visitor service centers are the primary uses of the funds.

Economic Development Board
The Sonoma County Economic Development Board (EDB) provides assistance services directed toward encouraging the startup, retention and expansion of Sonoma County businesses and jobs.

Sonoma County Tourism Program
The Sonoma County Tourism Program (SCTP) is committed to assisting professional journalists, editors and producers find the information they need in a timely manner. The SCTP provides assistance to the working press filing stories about Sonoma County as a travel destination.

Sonoma County Board of Supervisors
Please visit the Board of Supervisor’s website to obtain information on board meetings, services and information, supervisor assignments, press releases, and other items of interest.