Latest on Mammoth’s TOT enforcement

mammothtownofficesMammoth Lakes, CA – The Town’s Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) Enforcement Program was launched on September 8, 2011 with a mailing of over 8,000 letters to all Town of Mammoth Lakes property owners.

Since that time, Town staff has received extensive contact by property owners who want to make sure that they are legally renting their units. We have also received reports of suspicious activity or rental advertisements.

Highlights of the enforcement activity to date include:
• • • •
188 tips and inquires 17 open enforcement cases 13 closed cases 32 new TOT Business Licenses filed since August 1, 2011
The Town of Mammoth Lakes will continue to work with the Mammoth Lakes Lodging Association, Mammoth Lakes Tourism, and the Chamber of Commerce to monitor and enforce transient occupancy tax (TOT) payments and rental activity within the Town of Mammoth Lakes.

Contact: Stuart Brown, Recreation Manager & Public Information Officer – (760) 934-8989 ext. 210

Some of the most frequently asked questions about legal rentals and Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) are:

1. What is a transient rental?
A transient rental is any unit that is occupied for the purpose of sleeping, lodging, or similar reasons for a period of 30 consecutive days or less in exchange for a fee or similar consideration.

2. Can I rent my unit as a transient rental?
Only some zones within the Town of Mammoth Lakes permit transient rentals. The following zones permit transient rentals:
• • • • •
RMF-2 (Residential Multi-family 2) CL (Commercial Lodging) CG Commercial General) R (Resort, including master plan areas) SP (Specific Plan, including North Village and Clearwater)
This list is intended as a guide only. Although the above zones permit transient use generally, other regulations, such as those found in master plans, CC&Rs, or project conditions of approval may prohibit transient rental within a particular development. Generally, transient rental of single family homes is prohibited. A zoning map can be found on the Town’s website.

3. What is transient occupancy tax (TOT)?

Transient occupancy tax, or TOT, is a 13% tax that is charged “for the privilege of occupancy of any transient occupancy facility.” The tax is required to be paid to the operator of the transient occupancy facility at the time the rent is paid. It is the operator’s responsibility to remit the TOT to the Town.

4. Do I need to pay TOT?

If you are renting your unit as a transient rental, even if it is only for one weekend a year, you need to pay TOT. This includes single family homes and other units that are not permitted to rent nightly, but may be doing so illegally. TOT shall be remitted for each night the unit is rented.

5. Do I need a business tax certificate?

Yes, if you are renting your unit on a transient basis.

Contact: Stuart Brown, Recreation Manager & Public Information Officer – (760) 934-8989 ext. 210

6. Do I need a transient occupancy tax certificate?

Yes. You are required to purchase a transient occupancy certificate for each rental unit to post in your transient rental property. This is included as part of Schedule E or F in the business tax certificate application.

7. What is the difference between a business tax certificate and a transient occupancy tax certificate?

Business tax is an annual tax and is required for all business activity. The transient occupancy tax certificate is a one-time purchase that is non- transferable. This certificate is required to be posted in your transient rental unit.

8. Do I need a business tax certificate if all of my rentals are handled through a reservation company?
If all of your rentals are handled through a reservation company, most reservation companies will purchase the transient occupancy tax certificate and collect and remit the TOT to the Town. You may wish to check with your reservation company to confirm that this is being taken care of. If you rent your unit by owner in addition to renting with a property management company, you are also required to obtain a separate business tax certificate and transient occupancy tax certificate.

9. How do I apply for a business tax certificate?
The Town’s website contains information regarding business tax certificates, including    an    application    for    a    business    tax    certificate:    Transient Rentals fall under schedule F for condominium rentals and schedule E for hotels, motels, lodges, and campgrounds. This application can be mailed back to the Town, or submitted in person. The total cost for one unit is $118.00 ($65.00 application fee, $5.00 planning review fee, $25.00 fee to rent one unit, $23.00 TOT certificate fee). Additional costs apply for additional units. Business tax certificates are required on or before the first day business commences; penalties will apply for late filings. If you have additional questions regarding this process please contact the Finance Department at (760) 934-8989 x245.

10.    Do I have a business tax certificate?
To find out if you have a valid business tax certificate on file, please contact the Finance Department at (760) 934-8989 x245 or your property management company.

Contact: Stuart Brown, Recreation Manager & Public Information Officer – (760) 934-8989 ext. 210

11.    What is illegal rental activity?
Illegal rental activity is any rental activity that is not consistent with the Town’s Zoning Ordinance, or any rental activity that is not compliant with the Transient Occupancy Tax Ordinance. This can include transient rental of units located in zones that prohibit transient rentals. It can also include transient rentals in a zone where it is permitted, but when the TOT is not remitted to the Town.
12.    How can I report illegal rental activity?

If you suspect illegal rental activity, you may submit an anonymous tip via the Town’s TOT hotline at (760) 934-8989 x275 or on the Town’s website via the Transient Occupancy Tax information page. Please include any information that you have that would substantiate the claim, along with the property address and owner’s name if you have it. You may also email [email protected] Note that emails are not anonymous, however, staff will do its best to keep your information private.

13.    Questions & Anonymous TOT Hotline
If you have questions about TOT enforcement, or if you would like to report suspicious activity or rental advertisements please contact our anonymous hotline. The Town will follow-up on any reports submitted. The Hot Line Number is (760) 934-8989 ext. 275 or email your information to: [email protected]

Thank you for your attention to this very important subject that affects our quality of life and the health of our community.

, , , ,


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Clyde A.
Clyde A.
9 years ago

As we are seeing this week with congresss’s inability to do anything but spend money. It is time to reelect nobody! Fire the congress! Stop reelecting the career politicians who pollute our nation.

9 years ago

Like I have been saying for years.

‘Our Government is OUT OF CONTROL”

9 years ago

Desperate Times,= Desperate Measures



Friar Tuck
Friar Tuck
9 years ago

This is really going to make a dent on that 42+ million dollar debt. What a bunch of schmucks try to bleed the out of town little guy dry while the corporate and business interest under report sales and wage taxes by the millions. The hotel/motel owners along with the property management companies nearly soiled themselves the last time auditing them for TOT compliance was suggested. Why don’t we start with the big fish, that have compromised some of the town leaders first? These goat ropers need to be put in their place. A class action suit by all rental property owners just might rake in another windfall for out of town interest. This town will be finally be forced to tap out of governance due to its own incompetence! MLLA might want to consider backing such a class action suit and audit as suggested, this is where the real money your seeking is most likely being bled from the town coffers. More smoke and mirrors from the town leadership with little substance for solving the real problem staring them in the face. Greed and corruption got us into this mess, ethics and transparency is what is needed now,not more of the TOT enforcement boondoggle!

9 years ago
Reply to  Friar Tuck

“ethics and transparency are what is needed now” you are very correct that these traits are needed, yet the current Town administrator and his 3M $4000.00 per week “scape goat” are a far reach from those enviable traits.

What the people need to recognize is these people are a reflection of the elected officials that support and implement these “dump it on the little guy” decisions. Also, it doesn’t affect their bottom lines or benefits received.

The voters need to send a clear message and remove the current body and the people they hired as their lackeys.