Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT)

General Information


The City of San Mateo Municipal Code (SMMC Chapter 3.56) requires any structure occupied or intended or designed for occupancy by transients for dwelling, lodging or sleeping purposes to be subject to a general tax in the amount of 12% of the rent charged by the operator. The tax is to be collected by the operator of the facility and remitted to the City, or

other designated receiver, on or before the last day of each month.

Hotel/Short Term Rental registration form
Remit monthly tax (Please note, the City of San Mateo has contracted HdL Companies of Fresno, CA to administer the Transient Occupancy Tax.)
Sample HdL letter

Business Tax Certificate


Operating a hotel or short term rental is considered doing business in the City of San Mateo. The City of San Mateo Municipal Code requires all persons or businesses doing business in the City of San Mateo to pay an annual business tax (also sometimes called a business license). The payment of this tax is required prior to the commencement of business in San Mateo. For more information regarding Business Tax Certificates click here.

Business Tax Application for operating a hotel or short term rental

After payment of the annual business tax is made, the business will receive a business tax certificate by mail which evidences that the applicable tax has been paid for the period indicated on the certificate. This certificate must be displayed conspicuously in the place of business.

The business tax certificate does not indicate clearance or approval for zoning (SMMC 27.04.170 / 27.19.090), fire code, occupancy, or any other City, County, State or Federal permit or license which may be required. It is the responsibility of the business to ensure that it is in compliance with all legal requirements.