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County, local TOT revenue up from last year


Last updated 9/8/2011 at Noon

Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenue for the County of San Diego increased both countywide and locally from fiscal year 2009-10 to fiscal year 2010-11.

The county’s overall TOT collection revenue increased from $2,423,811.31 in 2009-10 to $2,448,836.43 for 2010-11. The tax money collected in Fallbrook rose from $256,328.20 to $282,087.11 while the revenue from Bonsall lodging facilities grew from $25,880.00 to $26,798.85.

The Transient Occupancy Tax is collected from occupants of hotels, motels, bed and breakfast venues, mobile home parks, private campgrounds, and other structures occupied or intended for occupancy by non-residents for lodging or sleeping purposes. A timeshare unit used by an ownership partner is not subject to the TOT, although if that unit is rented to the general public it is subject to the tax for that period. Campgrounds at the eight county parks with such facilities are exempt, as are lodging facilities on Indian reservations or other areas where the County of San Diego has no taxation power.

A Federal or State of California officer or employee on official business is exempt from the tax, as is any foreign government officer or employee exempt under Federal law or international treaty. The tax is not collected if the rent is four dollars a day or less or if the lodger receives a free room where the only consideration received is publicity for the lodging site. If the unit is occupied or rented for more than 30 consecutive days, it is not subject to the TOT.

The Transient Occupancy Tax is currently eight percent of the lodging unit rate. Payment to the county is on a quarterly basis; the facility operator must submit the payment by the last day of the month following the end of the calendar quarter (if the facility ceases operation the payment must be made within 30 days after the operator ceases doing business).

Although the Transient Occupancy Tax is only collected from lodging facilities in the unincorporated portion of the county, the revenue is used for the county’s Community Enhancement funding which may be given to organizations in incorporated cities as well as in unincorporated communities. Community Enhancement funds are intended to promote tourism, including visitors from other parts of the county, and are allocated as part of the county’s annual budget process.

The 2010-11 totals changed Fallbrook’s rank among unincorporated communities from fourth to third, as revenue from Borrego Springs fell from $296,616.81 to $261,431.49. TOT revenue collected from Rancho Santa Fe rose from $514,730.79 to $591,131.42 while revenue collected from facilities in unincorporated Escondido dropped from $334,696.61 to $294,776.23. Julian has ranked fifth in both of the past two years, collecting $174,923.77 in 2009-10 and $191,395.21 in 2010-11. Bonsall ranked twelfth among the 22 communities in both years, behind Ramona and ahead of Pauma.

Countywide first-quarter TOT revenue increased from $642,450.92 from July 2009 through September 2009 to $647,410.93 during the corresponding 2010 period. Fallbrook saw a first-quarter growth from $74,150.91 to $76,737.55 while Bonsall’s first-quarter collections dropped from $8,387.00 to $7,195.00. Fallbrook’s first-quarter revenue ranked third in the county both in 2009 and 2010 while Bonsall had the twelfth-highest figure for both years.

The county’s second-quarter revenue, covering the October through December period, declined from $538,624.02 in 2009 to $511,275.69 in 2010. Fallbrook’s second-quarter collections grew from $61,092.33 to $66,002.76 while Bonsall’s revenue gained from $4,608.00 to $4,801,48. The second-quarter decline was attributable to decreased revenue in the northeast part of the county; although Julian’s collections increased from $54,449.41 to $60,875.43, revenue declined in Borrego Springs from $97,206.54 to $43,413.21, in Warner Springs from $24,294.61 to $18,560.67, and in Pauma from $6,438.49 to $5,471.56.

Unincorporated Escondido’s revenue dropped from $63,232.25 to $58,909.17, allowing Fallbrook to move from fourth to third among the county’s communities. Bonsall’s second-quarter revenue ranked 13th both years.

The county saw a third-quarter growth from $583,052.94 to $651,889.01. Fallbrook experienced an upswing from $46,683.56 to $59,122.85 for the January through March period while Bonsall collected $5,547.00 in 2010 and $6,552.89 in 2011. Rancho Santa Fe revenue grew from $108,338.49 to $152,812.22 while Alpine also saw a significant gain by collecting $28,884.56 in 2010 and $37,561.30 in 2011. Jamul saw the greatest third-quarter increase in terms of percentage, increasing from $1,217.06 to $2,626.34. A decrease in unincorporated San Marcos collections from $51,763.00 to $38,927.99 moved Fallbrook from fifth to fourth in the year-to-year community rankings while Pauma’s drop from $5,695.35 to $5,529.08 moved Bonsall from 13th to 12th.

Overall fourth-quarter county TOT revenue dropped from $496,999.43 in 2010 to $467,057.83 for 2011. Fallbrook’s April through June collections of $74,401.40 ranked third in the county in 2010, while an increase to $80,223.95 in 2011 coupled with unincorporated Escondido’s drop from $119,270.00 to $69,196.14 placed the Friendly Village second behind Rancho Santa Fe in terms of fourth-quarter 2010-11 revenue. Bonsall’s fourth-quarter revenue grew from $7,338.00 to $8,209.48, which ranked twelfth in both years.


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