What is TOT and Why Do I need it for my Mammoth Lakes Airbnb Rental?

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What is TOT And Why Does My Airbnb Rental Need To Have It?

Information on the Transient Occupancy Tax

The Transient Occupancy Tax, or TOT, is an important part of the funding mechanisms of the Town of Mammoth Lakes and accounts for an estimated 60% of the total General Fund to provide such services as road maintenance, recreational programming, and snow removal. The Town of Mammoth Lake has the responsibility to collect transient occupancy taxes and has a staff team in place that is fully dedicated to providing effective revenue collection services and TOT enforcement. Before you can rent your property on Airbnb or VRBO legally in Mammoth Lakes you’ll need to make sure you hire a TOT inspection service that is approved through the city of Mammoth.

This page provides information and resources to help you understand the TOT requirements of the Town and how you can meet them. Included is information on the finance and zoning regulations as well as links to the important forms you may need.

Contact us if you need assistance with setting up your nightly rental in the city of Mammoth Lakes.

What is the Transient Occupancy Tax?

The TOT, or Transient Occupancy Tax, is a 13% tax charged on the occupancy of a transient occupancy facility (Municipal Code § 3.12.040 of the Town of Mammoth Lakes). This tax must e paid by a guest to a transient facility’s operator at the time they pay their rent. The operator is responsible for remitting the TOT to the town.

Most Vacation Rental Owners forget which site to pay for their Airbnb / VRBO City Taxes through, which is: Xpressbillpay.com (Specifically for Mammoth Lakes STR owners)

The Town’s administrative offices have TBID Monthly and Paper TOT Return Forms available or you can print them from the link shown below.

Click this link to learn more about setting your home up to be a nightly rental with the city of Mammoth Lakes.

VRBO Management

TBID & TOT Monthly Return Form

TOT Exemption Request

Along with nightly rent paid on a transient stay (under 31 days), there are other fees subject to TOT as well. Any fee that a guest is required to pay to stay in a transient facility will be taxable. That includes, but is not limited to the following:

Taxable Revenue


Online platform rental booking fees and reservations including service/hot fees, and online reservation site guest services fees (fees that are billed and charged to the operator that are based on the rent)

  • Late Check-Out fees
  • No Show forfeited deposits
  • Extra person fees
  • Cleaning fees
  • Linen fees
  • Resort fees
  • Pet fees

Refer to the Taxable Revenue List for a more comprehensive list of taxable items, or contact Town staff if you have any specific questions about which items are subject to the TOT.

If you’re considering listing your property on Airbnb, consider hiring a company to manage your Airbnb account as you might get at least 10% monthly by doing so. These companies understand what rates your listing should be listed at, and already have cost-savings built into their systems.

What is illegal rental activity?

This refers to any rental activity that is inconsistent with the Town’s Transient Occupancy Tax or Zoning Ordinances. It includes transient rental of any units that are located in zones where transient rentals are prohibited. Also, it includes transient rentals that are in a permitted zone where a Transient Occupancy Tax Certificate and/or Business Tax Certificate was not first obtained and/or TOT has not been remitted to the Town. Refer to the online interactive TOT Property Search Tool, Zoning Reference Guide, or Town Zoning Map to find out if a complex, APN, or address is zoned to allow for transient rentals.

Have more Questions about TOT Compliance in Mammoth Lakes? Checkout our TOT FAQ Blog and our Step by step-by-step process to Setting up your Airbnb Legally in Mammoth & Ready for Airbnb / VRBO

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