The Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) rate is 14% of the hotel rate and is paid by individuals who stay thirty days or less in a hotel located within the City of Oakland. This tax is collected and remitted by hotel operators. The rate was increased from 11% to 14% in FY 2008-09 due to the voter-approved Measure C tax surcharge. Measure C allocates 3% of total TOT revenue to support various community-based institutions, such as the Oakland Zoo; Oakland Convention and Visitors Bureau; Chabot Space and Science Center; Oakland Museum; and cultural art and festival activities. The Measure C portion (3%) is booked in a separate fund.
The outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020 significantly reduced FY 2020-21 TOT revenues. After steadily increasing throughout the preceding decade, total TOT revenue reached $25.92 million in FY 2018-19. In FY 2020-21, the City is expected to receive $15.9 million in TOT—a significant drop from its FY 2018-19 peak. This decline far exceeds previous TOT revenue downturns resulting from the Great Recession of 2008-2009 (down 18% between FY 2007-08 and FY 2009-10, not including revenues from the Measure C tax surcharge collected in FY 2009-10) or the September 11th terrorist attacks (down 17% between FY 2000-01 and FY 2001-02). The chart below shows the TOT revenue historical trend since 2003 and provides a two-year projection from the current FY 2020-21.