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Transient Occupancy Tax

Important notice. To limit the spread of the coronavirus, the City of Petaluma has moved to an essential services operational model until further notice. During that time, all City buildings, including the Finance Department will be closed to the public. All City Departments will be working at reduced staffing levels and will be providing essential services only. 

The City of Petaluma has initiated a Transient Occupancy Tax Deferral Program that enables hotel operators to extend the due date for payment.  This program is not a waiver of taxes owed nor a waiver to file a monthly tax return; it only temporarily extends the due date for payment. This allows the operator to delay payment of TOT taxes owed for the months of March, April, May and June to July 31, 2020. Hotel operators are still required to file a return for each month and all taxes would become delinquent if they are not paid by July 31st.

 

What is the Tax?

The Transient Occupancy 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 the City of Petaluma at a rate of 10% for accommodations at lodging and camping facilities within city limits.

The tax applies to:

  • Hotel/Motel
  • Camping Facilities
  • Short-term Vacation Rentals

Who Pays It?

Typically the person staying at the lodging facility is responsible for paying the tax.

Who Collects It and Submit It to the City?

The owner or manager of the lodging facility is responsible for collecting the tax and submitting it to the City of Petaluma no later than the 15th of the following month. The monthly TOT submittal must include:

  • TOT Remittance Form
  • Payment of the Remittance
  • Any applicable exemption claims

The TOT submittal must be submitted in person or by mail to:

City of Petaluma Finance Department
11 English Street
Petaluma, CA 94952

What does the Tax Fund?

TOT funds are discretionary, in that the City Council may direct use of these funds for any legitimate city expense. The tax code does not require any specific use of the Transient Occupancy Tax (T.O.T.) Funds.

The City Council has historically elected the funds raised from this tax be used, in part, to finance advertising and promotional activities in the City of Petaluma.

photo of kayakers on the river


The Transient Occupancy Tax can be used for different purposes, such as promoting Petaluma to visitors or paying for street improvements.

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