About TOT

Pursuant to the Placer County Health Officer’s guidance on March 24, 2020, short-term rental owners should immediately discontinue renting units and must comply with the Governor’s Executive Order to help our community stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. The Governor’s March 19, 2020 Executive Order (N-33-20) and Placer County Health Officer’s corresponding guidance require that short-term rentals cease all commercial operations with exceptions for COVID-19 essential workers. The only allowable operations are:

  • To provide COVID-19 mitigation and containment measures (for example, isolation and quarantine or the housing of displaced persons or the homeless);
  • To provide housing for essential critical infrastructure workers; and
  • For use by the property owner and his/her immediate family members.

Travel to short-term rentals is not considered essential travel.

In circumstances where a short-term vacation rental unit (as defined in the Placer County Code) is rented or used for reasons other than the three identified exceptions above, Code Compliance will be issuing misdemeanor or administrative citations to non-compliant owners, property managers, and occupants, with fines of $500 per day for initial violations and $1,000 per day for subsequent violations. For more severe infractions, Code Compliance may also refer this matter to local law enforcement, or may revoke, suspend or deny the applicable short-term vacation rental permit.

Please call 530-448-8003 to report any concerns about short-term rentals in relation to the Governor’s order.

Thank you for your consideration.

Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) is a rental tax paid by the guest for short-term rentals up to 30 days. It is not a tax on the business operator. Property owners / management companies must collect the tax from the guest on behalf of the County per Revenue Taxation Code 7280 and Placer County Code, Article 4.16. Download the Uniform Transient Occupancy Tax Code booklet (PDF) for more information.


Rentals include:

  • Inns
  • Living Spaces in Hotels
  • Motel
  • Other Lodging
  • Room(s)
  • Tourist Home or House

TOT also applies to rentals from all internet based rental services like Airbnb, Homeaway, and Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO) in the unincorporated areas of Placer County.

Why Transient Occupancy Tax is Important to Collect

The tax paid by visitors helps fund projects that benefit the County as a whole. These include public parks, infrastructure improvements, and historical and environmental preservation. It is an added source of non-property tax revenue to Placer County.

Exemption to TOT

If the renter is a federal or state officer or employee on official business, they can apply for exemption to TOT by completing and filing the exemption application (PDF) at the time the occupancy is agreed to, prior to taking occupancy of the rental. A contractor for the government agency cannot apply for exemption.