In the November 2022 general election, El Dorado County voters will be asked to raise the Transient Occupancy Tax, known as “TOT” or sometimes as the “Hotel/Motel Tax.”
The County imposes and collects a 10% tax, only in the unincorporated part of the County, on the rent charged by operators of hotels, motels, inns or other lodging, including short-term rentals such as Airbnb but excluding campsites and RV parks.
The tax was originally enacted to offset various impacts of tourism, including to roads and other infrastructure. As such, it is applied only to visitors using the relevant lodging types.
El Dorado County residents would pay TOT only if they stayed in lodging covered by the tax.
The existing 10% TOT rate was established in 2004, when Measure H passed by a 60 percent majority of votes. Because the Measure was passed as a General Tax, the use of funds is not legally restricted and can be used for general governmental purposes at the discretion of the Board of Supervisors. That Board set a policy that TOT revenue “shall be directed toward the impact of tourism and economic development, with consideration for support of tourism and promotion activities within the County and for continued support for grant fund allocations to support Veteran programs within the County.”
Consistent with this policy, in the 2021-22 fiscal year alone, the Board directed $3,000,000 toward offsetting tourism impacts; $1,300,000 toward economic development; $621,000 toward tourism and promotion activities; and $281,000 to support Veteran programs.