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Support for Hotels

Post Date:04/02/2020 5:45 PM

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April 2, 2020



Support for Local Hotels in wake of Coronavirus


The City of Santa Maria is taking measures to support local hotels and motels experiencing a slowdown in business as a result of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus pandemic.


The City will defer the due date for Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) for local hotels and motels for March and April, providing all payments are made on or before June 30th. Other cities are taking similar measures. Because the City has already declared a state of emergency, this measure is now enacted by the City Manager and the City Council can ratify at its next meeting on Tuesday, April 7th.


The City is requiring hotel operators to provide a signed agreement that they are electing to defer payment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Total deferred payments are estimated between about $100,000 to $200,000 for those two months. The hotels will still be required to pay.


Santa Maria’s TOT revenue is about $3.3 million per year, or about five percent of its overall General Fund income.


Also known as bed tax, the TOT is levied on persons staying in a room in a hotel or motel or tourist home. The City’s rate is 10 percent. An additional two percent is assessed by local lodging establishments under the Santa Maria Business Improvement District, to market Santa Maria as a tourist, meeting and event destination. The SMBID Board met this week and voted to suspend the 2 percent payment for March and April; the Chamber Board will consider ratification. Many other local cities including Pismo Beach, Atascadero, Lompoc, Buellton, Solvang, and Santa Barbara previously added tourism business improvement districts.


Questions may be directed to Public Information Manager Mark van de Kamp at (805) 925-0951 extension 2372.



Department:                   City Manager’s Office

Contact Person:              Mark van de Kamp, Public Information Manager

Telephone Number:        (805) 925-0951 ext. 2372 or cell (805) 720-4038

E-mail Address:   

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