Fallbrook TOT revenue up; Bonsall drops

The County of San Diego collected more Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenue for Fiscal Year 2012-13 than in any fiscal year since 2008-09 and TOT funding collected from Fallbrook lodging facilities increased 6.6 percent over 2011-12, but the November 2012 closure of the San Luis Rey Downs Resort hotel caused Bonsall’s 2012-13 collections to be 32.4 percent lower than in 2011-12.

The county collected $2,646,965.75 in 2012-13 TOT revenue, an increase from $2,579,408.47 for 2011-12 and $2,448,836.43 for 2010-11. The county collected $2,827,951.50 of 2008-09 TOT funding.

Fallbrook’s TOT revenue rose from $282,071.11 for 2010-11 to $300,646.45 for 2011-12 to $320,388.34 for 2012-13. Bonsall’s TOT revenue for 2012-13 was $18,887.15, a drop from the $27,921.09 of 2011-12 TOT collections and $26,978.85 for 2010-11.

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 county’s unincorporated area, the revenue is used for the county’s Community Enhancement program and may be given to organizations in incorporated cities as well as 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 2012-13 revenue ranks Fallbrook third among the 23 recognized communities. Rancho Santa Fe collections increased from $406,008.72 for 2011-12 to $536,619.83 for 2012-13. Revenue generated in unincorporated Escondido was $374,636.04 for 2011-12 and $453,777.46 from 2012-13. Borrego Springs was fourth both years with $273,940.06 from 2011-12 and $260,838.54 for 2012-13 while Julian maintained fifth place while increasing collections from $211,354.54 to $237,366.96. Bonsall was 13th for 2011-12, immediately behind Pauma and just ahead of Pine Valley. The closure of Warner Springs Ranch during 2011-12 eliminated all 2012-13 revenue for Warner Springs, allowing Bonsall’s total to rank 12th between the $32,843.70 collected from Pauma and the $18,310.63 from Mountain Empire lodging facilities.

Countywide first-quarter TOT revenue from July through September increased from $647,410.92 for 2010 to $772,160.13 in 2011 but dropped to $709,665.02 during 2012. Fallbrook’s first-quarter growth from $76,737.55 to $87,522.49 to $93,951.16 ranked the Friendly Village third in the county all three years. Bonsall first-quarter collections rose from $7,195.00 in 2010 and $8,139.00 for 2011 to rank twelfth both years, and the increase to $10,530.96 for 2012 along with the elimination of Warner Springs revenue placed Bonsall 11th.

The county’s second-quarter revenue covering October through December was $511,275.69 for 2010, $587,971.25 from 2011, and $595,491.21 for 2012. Fallbrook ranked second behind Rancho Santa Fe with $66,002.76 of 2010 revenue, third behind Rancho Santa Fe and Escondido with 2011 collections of $61,318.75, and third for 2012 with $68,075.05 of TOT funding. Bonsall’s 2010 and 2011 collection amounts of $4,801.48, $5,935.00 both ranked 13th; the 2012 quarterly figure of $4,052.16 ranked 14th.

The county’s 2013 third-quarter revenue of $662,292.33 was the largest January-March amount since $851,429.77 was collected in 2008. The county’s third-quarter collections were $651,889.01 in 2011 and $587,154.90 for 2012. Fallbrook’s 2013 third-quarter collections totaled $58,610.89, a decrease from $59,122.85 in 2011 and $66,228.70 during 2012. Bonsall collected $6,552.98 in 2011 and $5,892.38 for 2012 but only $700.00 during 2013. Fallbrook ranked fourth all three years. Bonsall, which ranked 12th in both 2011 and 2012, plummeted to 19th ahead only of the four communities (unincorporated Chula Vista, Dulzura, Jacumba, and Warner Springs) without any TOT collection revenue for 2012-13.

Overall fourth-quarter county revenue for April through June increased from $467,057.83 in 2011 to $632,122.19 for 2012 to $679,517.19 during 2013. Fallbrook’s 2011 amount of $80,203.95 ranked second behind Rancho Santa Fe. In 2012, Fallbrook’s fourth-quarter collections rose to $85,586.51; a one-year increase from $69,196.14 to $100,642.21 moved unincorporated Escondido from third to first in the rankings while Rancho San Diego fell from first to third with a drop from $129,564.21 to $82,125.52.

For the final quarter of 2012-13, Rancho Santa Fe collected $141,067.68, Escondido generated $117,892.34, and Fallbrook was third with $99,751.24 of collections. Bonsall ranked 12th in 2011 with $8,209.48 and 11th for 2012 after collecting $7,994.70 (the elimination of Warner Springs revenues accounted for the position gain despite Bonsall’s drop). Bonsall’s lodging facilities provided $3,604.03 of 2013 revenue for April to June, which ranked 17th.

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