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Articles

Tit for T.O.T., city weighs options to compel vacation rental owners to pay taxes

Tiobe Barron, Ojai Valley News correspondent
How does a community regulate unofficial vacation rentals — such as those found on AirBnB.com — without unintentionally opening the floodgates and possibly altering existing neighborhoods? This is one of the issues the newly sworn-in Ojai City Council will attempt to address Jan. 13.
Transient Occupancy Tax (T.O.T.), a city tax applied to guests’ hotel bills, is the city of Ojai’s largest source of revenue. But though this tax is also supposed to include vacation rentals in residential zones, several council members have done their own research and found numerous Ojai rental properties whose owners have not gotten the requisite conditional use permits (C.U.P.), and so are not paying T.O.T.

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