Mammoth steps up TOT enforcement

The Town of Mammoth Lakes issued the following press release:

The Town of Mammoth Lakes is working with local partners to implement a program to monitor and enforce transient occupancy tax (TOT) payments and rental activity within the town.

TOT Provides Vital Community Services

According to Mayor Jo Bacon, “Everyone who visits our town, including our property owners, expect the highest level of service that the Town can provide. When the Transient Occupancy Taxes are not collected, those owners/renters are negatively impacting our ability to fund and supply services. Without adequate revenues, programs like our successful transit system, important road maintenance efforts, and extensive public safety initiatives will suffer. By not complying with the TOT ordinance, those owners unfairly push the burden of providing services to the rest of the community.”

As the single largest revenue source for the Town, TOT revenue provides vital services to our community that enhance our quality of life and maintain our status as a great place to live and work, including:

• Free transportation (usage and need are growing)

• Snow removal (we would not be able to get around town without it)

• Road maintenance (surfacing, routing, and safety)

• Public safety (police funding)

• Parks and pools maintenance (facilities cannot be maintained and upgraded without TOT)

• Trails (TOT helps create and maintain walking, hiking and biking trails within the town of Mammoth Lakes)

• Mammoth Lakes marketing (TOT helps Mammoth Lakes to be competitive with other travel markets and allows us to visit or live in Mammoth Lakes and enjoy the amenities we’ve come to expect)

• People visit Mammoth Lakes or move here full or part time because of its vast recreational opportunities and its beauty. However to maintain and create the infrastructure that makes Mammoth Lakes a place we continue to enjoy, we must have an income source and the largest source of income to the Town of Mammoth Lakes is TOT

“Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) collection, compliance, and enforcement are critical components to the success of a resort town like Mammoth Lakes. TOT makes up about 60% of the Town’s annual budgeted revenue and pays for such vital community services as snow removal, road and parks maintenance, and marketing,” stated John Morris, Chairman of the Mammoth Lakes Lodging Association.

Unreported and illegal rental activity has cost the Town hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars. Unreported or uncollected TOT affects local businesses in other ways. Owners who rent their units without collecting TOT drive down the rental rates for legitimate rental properties that do collect.

Town Council Takes Action

In order to continue to provide public services to our residents, businesses and guests, the Town Council has made TOT enforcement a high priority for the Community Development Department.

Mayor Pro Tem Lehman stated that, “Over the past 12 months Town Council and Town staff have made enormous strides to cut expenses in an effort to better balance our town’s budget. It’s now time to shift our focus to revenue generation and revenue collection. This is a component of our Town finances that has received too little attention until now.”

John Morris, Chairman of the Mammoth Lakes Lodging Association stated that, “Those homeowners who do not collect and remit TOT in accordance with the Town’s ordinance, or who are renting their properties illegally, are simply hurting all Mammoth residents, second homeowners and visitors by not paying these crucial tax dollars.”

Community Engagement

The Town and Mammoth Lakes Tourism have engaged both our lodging partners and the Chamber of Commerce to help formulate a program for TOT enforcement.

“Mammoth Lakes Tourism has been doing an amazing job of driving visitors to our community, but without a strong TOT collection program the benefits of a good visitor base are futile,” stated Mayor Pro Tem Lehman.

Brent Truax, President, Mammoth Lakes Chamber of Commerce stated, “To achieve outstanding customer service and promote business and community growth we need all businesses to be on the same playing field. The customer arriving to Mammoth who stays at a property bypassing the TOT protocol is missing the sense of place that makes Mammoth Lakes a special place to visit and have service interactions that make up our community and create a return visitor.”

The Community Development Department is supporting the TOT enforcement and education program. An anonymous hot line has been created and more information has been posted on the Town page which will be followed with an informational “Rental Enforcement Notice” that will be mailed next week to all property owners in the Town. Town staff will then start enforcement efforts. Depending on the situation, not collecting and remitting TOT could be a misdemeanor or even embezzlement which is a criminal charge.

Anonymous TOT Hotline

An anonymous hotline has been established to report any suspicious activity or rental advertisements. The Town will follow-up on any reports submitted. The Hot Line Number is (760) 934-8989 ext. 275 or email your information to:

If you have questions about TOT enforcement please contact Pam Kobylarz at (760) 934-8989 ext. 275, or she may be reached via e-mail at

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

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52 Responses to Mammoth steps up TOT enforcement

  1. Wayne Deja September 16, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    Mammoth Lakes….The DRAMA Capitol of California!!!

  2. Rob September 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    and that univolved 3rd party is the victim. So it’s not even a victimless crime TOML, MLPD and the Chief are failing to enforce.

    Am I wrong?

  3. Rob September 16, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    For ever illegal hired in TOML that’s using a fraudulent Social Security number there is uninvolved 3rd party that suffers the consequence of someone using their Social Security number.

    Thank you Town of Mammoth Lakes.

  4. Steve S September 16, 2011 at 5:58 am #

    Last post on this issue for me.
    The following letter was sent to the TOML @ their “narc a neighbor hot line” at

    Town of Mammoth Lakes policy makers and Council:
    If you want us Citizens to start reporting illegal renting of condos, then you need to start enforcing the laws that make employers accountable and re inform them that they cannot hire illegal aliens in this town. Also, what happened to the e verify program citizens in Mammoth were demanding you implement?

    It seems that it has been swept under the carpet!

    It is not OK for TOML to pick and choose the laws it will enforce solely for it’s money making attributes. A law is a law!

    We will all be watching your actions on both these issues and will make it known publicly come reelection time. Do what we hire you to do, and enforce hiring laws as well as TOT laws in our town.

    Yours truly, A law abiding taxpaying Citizen of Mammoth.

    • Grrrr! September 16, 2011 at 9:37 am #

      Careful, Steve – that big bad Bounty Hunter is going to label you a racist!

    • Ken Warner September 16, 2011 at 9:38 am #

      Save your bandwidth. They don’t listen. They already have it all figured out. Town Council meetings are only used to reveal to the public what has already been decided. It’s a Punch and Judy show.

    • Joann Lijek September 16, 2011 at 4:35 pm #


  5. Rob September 15, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    I suggest that we use the TOT rat line to report employers who do not follow State & Federal laws when hiring employees. .

    The Hot Line Number is (760) 934-8989 ext. 275 or email your information to:

  6. Big Rick September 14, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

    There was a time in this country when all it took was a phone call to the I.N.S It’s a freakin’ shame that you’re considered a RACIST if all you want done is for some federal, or even local law enforcement agency to ENFORCE federal immigration law It ‘s not right for the local PD to pick and choose which laws are to be enforced.Personally, I myself do not appreciate being forced to wear a seat belt in a town where the speed limit is mostly 25 mph, but guess what…if I do it , I’m gonna get dinged. But break immigration federal law…. “We’ll let you slide because if we act on it, we’ll be branded racists” GRRR and HOMEGIRL…right on the money!!!!!!!!.

    • Bounty Hunter September 15, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

      There you go again Big Rick. Trying to confuse them with the actual facts! (-:

  7. Grrrr! September 14, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    Nice, Bounty Hunter – you cannot continue a debate because you have no valid argument so you choose to make fun of my age? (or by how long I have lived here)
    You must be one of those new fangled people known as the “Five Minute Local”

    • Bounty Hunter September 14, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

      Thanks for making my point. I could not have said it better.

      I moved to Mammoth in 1977

  8. Wayne Deja September 14, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    Ken….I happen to work for less than $15.00 an hour……and not even full time……And I am able to pay my rent,pay my bills,keep groceries in the fridge,gas in the truck,plenty of good dog food for my Cocker Spaniol…AND able to afford a nice week-long vacation or two in the early summer,and late fall.I Don’t feel like I am working for “rent a slave” wages,or feel “exploited” by my employer.When I moved to Lone Pine 11 years ago,if I “refused” to work for less than $15.00 an hour,a good chance I’d be living underneeth some bridge…and speaking for others here in Lone Pine,if we all refused to work for less than $15.00 an hour,unemployment would probably top 80% of our population.

    • Ken Warner September 14, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

      It’s not one size fits all. And I’m glad you can make ends meet in Lone Pine and are happy with less than $30,000 a year.

      • Wayne Deja September 14, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

        Ken…Don’t get me wrong…I would love to be making more money….and if I moved to a big city,doing the work I do now,would make more.But I’m in Lone Pine…and I think same goes for many in all these small little towns in the Sierras.I choose to live up here,which means ,in most cases,make less $$$ than I could living somewhere else.If young people…in the Owens Valley….turn down jobs making less than $15.00 an hour,they better have something,and someone to fall back on to support them and their unemployment.

  9. Ken Warner September 13, 2011 at 5:25 pm #


    JEEZE — where do some people get their “wisdom”?

  10. Home girl September 12, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    the toilets got cleaned and the food got served and the beds got made all before the massive influx of undocumented workers. Just be legal that is all anyone asks. There are plenty of white, brown, purple, green legal folks that would do any job to support their family, but because they are legally allowed here, the greedy have to pay real wages and not under the table for the undocumented. Bounty Hunter obviously employs such folks.

    15 years maid work in the town of Mammoth and I am as white as wonder bread imagine that

  11. Bounty Hunter September 10, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    People complain about the Town’s service level yet these same people complain about their “neighbors” being turned in for bringing people into Town and illegally renting to them, which puts a greater burden on the Town’s resources. How about everyone just obey the law and collect TOT. If you don’t like it, circulate a petition to get it to a vote of the people if you want exemptions or to eliminate it all together. See how many signatures you get since the vast majority of the Town’s budget comes from TOT.

    Let’s level the playing field for all businesses in Mammoth and enforce TOT to the hilt instead of ignoring the fact that greedy, dishonest people get away with placing an unfair burden on Town resources by not paying TOT.

    • Rob September 12, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

      Let’s also level the playing field for all businesses in Mammoth and enforce employement laws in regards to undocumented workers to the hilt instead of ignoring the fact that greedy, dishonest people get away with paying undocumented workers under the table burdening the entire state resources by not paying taxes.

      Or just ignore the TOT and the businesses that hire undocumented workers.

      • Bounty Hunter September 12, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

        Yea right. The white folks are lining up in droves to make beds and clean toilets.

        • Bob Loblaw September 12, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

          With the unemployment rate where it is, I know quite a few “white folks” who would like any job right now.

          • Bounty Hunter September 13, 2011 at 12:03 am #

            Not when they can make more money being a 99er on unemployment.

          • Wayne Deja September 13, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

            Key to survival for many,after losing a job,is to collect unemployment benifits,and at the same time work some jobs under the table.And a BIG reason the percent of unemployed has to be taken with a grain of salt.But ya know what?……Who can blame anyone for doing it? More power to em’……..

        • Rob September 13, 2011 at 8:39 am #

          If there’s an excuse for hiring undocumented workers that prompts TOML and law enforcement to ignore law breakers, then I’m sure we can find an excuse for not paying the TOT.

          BTW my home is available for rent through out the year at a reduced rate (I don’t pay the TOT) Contact me here.

        • Rob September 13, 2011 at 9:39 am #

          Bounty Hunter – nice racism to assume white people don’t make beds.

          It’s also racist to assume only hispanics make beds.

          • Bounty Hunter September 14, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

            Thanks for proving my point. Intelectual losers always play the race card. You are sooooooo predictable!

          • Bob Loblaw September 15, 2011 at 6:59 am #

            One of lifes little ironies, when someone speaks condescendingly of someones intelligence, then misspells intellectual. FYI, I don’t make my bed.

          • Grrrr! September 15, 2011 at 9:58 am #

            Oh, an illiterate INTELLECTUAL! You just proved OUR point!

          • Bounty Hunter September 15, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

            Sorry: Intellectual

          • Bounty Hunter September 15, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

            Grrrr and Rob are RACISTS!!!

            I win.

        • Grrrr! September 13, 2011 at 11:50 am #

          BH – who the Hell do you think did all the maid work in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and into the 80’s? We also tended bar, served food, cooked – sometimes all in one day, in order to live here….long before any Hispanics showed up – AND we were happy to do it all!

          • Bounty Hunter September 14, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

            Yeah right. I remember when I walked to school in the snow and it was uphill both ways. Blah Blah Blah

            Did you just discover home computers and cell phones? They have been around for a while.

            Try to be current.

            Actually I would like to buy your Lava Lamp. I hear they are coming back now.

          • Steve S September 15, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

            That is a fact!

        • Ken Warner September 13, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

          When I was young and un-educated, I cleaned toilets, bused tables, chopped lettuce, served ice-cream, drove trucks, cleaned toilets, washed dishes, sanded surfboards and any other crappy job I could get just so I wouldn’t have to eat out of garbage cans.

          Oh and did I mention I”M WHITE.

          The idea that “White People” don’t do some jobs is bullshit and just as racist as claiming that illegals are being persecuted because they are little brown people and not because they are illegal.

          • Wayne Deja September 13, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

            Ken…In case you haven’t noticed,things have changed a LOT since the 70’s and 80’s……and even since the 90’s.In my town,I know young people,un-educated that will not work for less than $12.00 an hour…..and ,in most cases,if they do happen to find a job paying that kind of wage,if it’s hard work,once the first or second paycheck comes,they quit.And,I got to say it…..most of them are white!!

          • Ken Warner September 13, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

            Wayne Deja said:

            “I know young people,un-educated that will not work for less than $12.00 an hour….”

            It turns out that a living wage is closer to $15.00 an hour these days. Doesn’t sound too dumb to me to refuse to work for Rent’a’Slave wages.

            So you say it’s a skin color problem when people refuse to be exploited? And that the “Little Brown People” are the kind of exploitable worker we need more of in the U.S.? So rich people can get richer and we continue to depress wages by only hiring the most poor and the most desperate who are willing to low bid the job? Well — you get what you pay for.

        • Steve S September 15, 2011 at 7:02 am #

          I used to when I was in my early twenties. The $ was great! I only left and learned a trade when the illegals came here and drove the wages way down.
          They are making less doing maid work now than I was twenty two years ago! Only the facts mam!

  12. outflyfishing1 September 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    Maybe we need to replace the city council and hire one that can run the town not one that runs it into the ground. they need to be held accountable.What a childish idea to taddle tale on your neighbors.

  13. vegantothefifthpower September 7, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    I also agree with fining all those business owners who have undocumented workers! However, it would need to be a sneak attack since once one hears…everyone who aren’t documented don’t show up for work!

  14. beenthroughthis September 7, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    i have turned many absentee homeowners names into the town who rent illegally and not a damn thing ever happened. In the words of the woman at the finance office who told me “unless we see money being exchanged, there isnt a damn thing we can do.”

  15. downthecreek September 6, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    desperate times leaves to desperate measures
    our town gobernment is
    out of control

    i heard Rusty was renting out his place next weekend.

  16. sierragrl September 6, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    This would have been a good time to do some of that ‘education’ their talking about. When is TOT required? Just a basic outline would be nice to see.

  17. Jeff B. September 4, 2011 at 9:04 am #

    Oh yes, let’s maximize TOT so we can waive development impact fees to build more housing no one needs. Instead, why don’t we stop wasting town money on projects that are not viable and are a net negative return on investment for taxpayers? Maybe if we stop overreaching, then we can have TOT rates and DIFs that don’t cause us all to balk.

  18. Rob September 3, 2011 at 7:55 am #

    [Everyone who visits our town, including our property owners, expect the highest level of service that the Town can provide]

    I only expect to see a lot of illegal aliens being employed illegally by local business’s that charge higher then average prices for products and services.

    I also see TOML overlooking employers who are breaking State and Federal laws regarding the employment of non documented workers, while they chase down private home owners over TOT funds.

    I could careless if my neighbor cheats TOML out of the TOT. TOML will have to go after employers who hire non documented workers before they get my support on the TOT rat line.

    • downthecreek September 6, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

      “illegal aliens”
      IN mammoth NO WAY

      • Steve S September 15, 2011 at 6:55 am #

        Tons of Illegal Aliens in Mammoth! We just ran E verify on one that was applying for a job with us, and his SSC was a fake or stolen. E Verify had been on the agenda at the town and actually people were interested in it, however, they have quietly swept it under the rug. It’s seems to be fine to have law breaking criminals in town who make them money, however if other law breaking criminals in town are doing the opposite, WELL, all of a sudden there concerned beyond belief! The town can do it’s own dirty work! I am with Rob. Start enforcing laws on the the obvious law breakers (The illegals and the businesses that are hiring them), then maybe we will help you out with the cheaters that are renting there condos out without the towns greedy fingers in it.
        A law is a law! TOML Quit thinking with your pocket book! You are clearly not good at it! “Forty one Million dollars you cost us”!

  19. bobbie lee swagger September 2, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

    “An anonymous hotline has been established”

    cool , narc on ur neighbor

    am i just limited to the tax thing or can i call in because i don’t like the size of their vehicle ?

  20. Bounty Hunter September 2, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    The best way to enforce TOT is to privitize the enforcement. Simply put a 50% bounty of all fees collected from violators, when the private party sets up a successful sting. This is easily done through the internet and forwarded phone calls.

    A smart kid could work his way through college doing this. It would cost the town nothing and generate scores of private investigators hunting down violators. Once the sting is set up, the PI calls the town investigator. No successful sting no pay. Pretty simple.

    • Wayne Deja September 4, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

      Yeah,good idea…….Set it up to where you have a town full of so-called “internet bounty hunters”turning on their neighbors and friends trying to make a quick easy buck…and something that could never hold up in court.Word of advise to whoever would get caught up in one of these so-called “stings”……deny,deny,deny.

      • Rob September 5, 2011 at 10:10 am #

        When you rat out your neighbor you deserve what ever happens next.

        Pretty sad TOML is attempting to turn neighbor against neighbor to make a buck.

        Not only should you deny, deny, deny, call them liars while you’re at it.

    • Wayne Deja September 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

      Hey,Bounty hunter…..Before you go off trying to solicite college students to “work their way”through school,other than the old-fashion way,you might want to check on the existing laws when it comes to using the internet,and especially using phone conversations,which I assume would have to be taped to try to entrap these homeowners .One -way taped conversations on the phone,without consent of both parties,isn’t something that could be used to prosecute…..and the person doing it could find themselves facing charges of their own.Check it out before you try to enlist people to do one of these scripted”reality-show” stings your trying to push.

  21. enoughalready September 2, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    Anonymous TOT Hotline.
    “the Town Council has made TOT enforcement a high priority for the Community Development Department.”
    Ha. Ha. Ha……. Again…..what a great source of comic relief.
    Here is an anonymous tip for the Community Development Department….. Your town council
    is running your community into the ground (not news, but maybe someone should tell them just in case they might be listening).
    Here is a hotline number for you folks to rat out your neighbors and help the town pay off their hugh debt.


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