County, local TOT revenue up from 2010-11

Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenue for the County of San Diego increased between Fiscal Years 2010-11 and 2011-12, as did the TOT revenue from Fallbrook and Bonsall lodging facilities.

The county’s overall TOT collection revenue, which increased from $2,423,811.31 in Fiscal Year 2009-10 to $2,448,836.43 in 2010-11, was $2,579,408.47 during 2011-12.

The money collected in Fallbrook rose from $256,328.20 in 2009-10 to $282,071.11 during 2010-11 to $300,656.45 for 2011-12 while revenue generated from Bonsall lodging facilities was $27,921.08 in 2011-12 compared to $26,978.85 during 2010-11 and $25,880.00 in 2009-10.

The Transient Occupancy Tax, which is currently eight percent of the lodging unit rate, 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 it is rented to the general public that unit 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. Units occupied or rented for more than 30 consecutive days are not subject to the TOT.

The facility operator must submit payment to the county on a quarterly basis 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 TOT 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 during the county’s annual budget process.

The 2011-12 revenue ranks Fallbrook third among the 23 recognized communities. TOT revenue collected from Rancho Santa Fe dropped from $591,131.42 in 2010-11 to $506,008.72 during 2011-12 while revenue generated in unincorporated Escondido increased during that time from $294,776.23 to $374,636.04. Borrego Springs ranked fourth in both years with $261,431.49 in 2010-11 and $273,940.06 in 2011-12 while Julian was fifth in both years after generating $191,395.21 in 2010-11 and $211,314.54 during 2011-12. In both 2009-10 and 2010-11 Bonsall ranked twelfth, immediately behind Ramona and ahead of Pauma, but in 2011-12 Ramona surpassed Warner Springs for the tenth ranking while Pauma’s $28,330.54 relegated Bonsall to 13th immediately ahead of Pine Valley.

Countywide first-quarter TOT revenue from July through September increased from $642,450.92 in 2009 to $647,410.92 in 2010 to $772,160.13 for 2011. Fallbrook’s first-quarter growth from $74,150.91 to $76,737.55 to $87,522.49 ranked the Friendly Village third in the county all three years. Bonsall’s first-quarter collections dropped from $8,387.00 in 2009 to $7,195.00 in 2010 but rose to $8,139.00 for 2011 to rank twelfth all three years.

The county’s second-quarter revenue covering October through December declined from $538,624.02 in 2009 to $511,275.69 in 2010 but rebounded to $587,971.25 for 2011. Fallbrook’s second-quarter collections increased from $61,092.33 in 2009 to $66,002.76 for 2010 but fell to $61,318.75 in 2011. Fallbrook had ranked fourth in 2009 and second in 2010, surpassing both Borrego Springs and unincorporated Escondido, but Escondido’s increase from $58,909.17 for 2010 to $61,432.09 in 2011 moved Fallbrook down to third. Bonsall ranked 13th in 2009, 2010, and 2011 with respective quarterly revenues of $4,608.00, $4,801.48, and $5,935.00.

Although the county had third-quarter growth from $583,052.94 in 2010 to $651,889.01 for 2011, the January through March 2012 collection dropped to $587,154.90. Fallbrook’s generation during those three years increased from $46,683.56 to $59,122.85 to $66,228.70 while Bonsall’s revenue was $5,547.00 in 2010, $6,552.98 during 2011, and $5,852.38 for 2012. The figures ranked Fallbrook fourth for the second consecutive year after ranking fifth behind unincorporated San Marcos in 2010. Bonsall ranked 13th in 2010 and surpassed Pauma in 2011 to rank 12th. Although Pauma’s recovery from $5,529.09 in 2011 to $7,666.62 for 2012 allowed it to regain its position ahead of Bonsall, the closure of Warner Springs Ranch eliminated TOT collections in Warner Springs during the final two quarters of 2011-12 so Bonsall retained its 12th position. Rancho Santa Fe’s third-quarter TOT collections fell from $152,812.22 to $77,454.14, giving Borrego Springs the top third-quarter 2011-12 collection with $121,287.68.

Overall fourth-quarter county TOT revenue for April through June declined from $496,999.43 in 2010 to $467,057.83 for 2011 before rising to $632,122.19 in 2012. In 2010 Fallbrook’s $74,401.40 ranked third, behind Rancho Santa Fe and Escondido. Fallbrook’s 2011 collection of $80,223.95 coupled with Escondido’s drop from $119,270.00 in 2010 to $69,196.14 in 2011 placed the Friendly Village second behind Rancho Santa Fe for the fourth quarter of 2010-11. During the final quarter of 2011-12 Fallbrook collected $85,586.51 of TOT revenue. Rancho Santa Fe’s revenue fell from $129,564.21 in 2011 to $82,155.52 in 2012, but unincorporated Escondido’s increase from $69,196.14 to $100,642.21 kept Fallbrook second in the rankings. Bonsall generated $7,338.00 in 2010 and $8,209.48 during 2011 before a decline to $7,994.70 for 2012; the community’s 12th-place ranking in 2010 and 2011 was changed to 11th due to the lack of Warner Springs collections.

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