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The Kern County Treasurer and Tax Collector has partnered with Deckard Technologies for the purpose of registering and collecting vacation rental taxes from short term vacation rental owners and operators.

This tax is authorized under State Revenue and Taxation Code Section 7280 and Kern County Ordinance 4.16 and is an additional source of non-property tax revenue to local government. This tax is levied in Kern County at a rate of 6% for accommodations in the unincorporated areas of Kern County.

Short term vacation rentals differ from the hotels and motels in that the short term vacation rental is typically a house, cabin or other dwelling located in a residential area, rather than a building with multiple rooms for occupancy.

Short term vacation rentals typically advertise their availability through services such as Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO, Flipkey, and other websites.

All short term vacation rentals located in the unincorporated areas of Kern County must register an application for a certificate of TOT for each dwelling, unit, or bedroom that is individually advertised.
Register and Pay Online

Transient Occupancy Tax Estimate Review

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who needs to register for a Transient Occupancy Tax Certificate?
If your short term vacation rental is located in the unincorporated areas of Kern County, you are responsible for collecting and remitting the TOT tax to the county and therefore need a Transient Occupancy Tax Certificate. If you are in a city jurisdiction, you need to verify with your local city hall. If you have any question regarding registration, please contact the Kern County Treasurer and Tax Collector.
2. Do I have to register for a TOT certificate if I am renting a unit, space or bedroom for short-term rental activity?
Yes, all short-term rental units must register for a TOT certificate and remit TOT taxes quarterly to the Kern County Treasurer-Tax Collector.
3. If I have multiple properties, or multiple rentals on the same property, do I need more than one TOT certificate?
Yes, each separately advertised rental must have its own TOT certificate. So if you have multiple units on one property, you will need a separate TOT certificate for each unit. If you have one unit, but are advertising and renting bedrooms separately, each separately advertised bedroom will need its own TOT certificate.
4. How do I register for a TOT certificate?
Click the link to go to the Registration and Payment Site.
5. Is there a cost to register for a TOT certificate?
6. What is the TOT Rate in unincorporated Kern County?
The current TOT rate in the unincorporated areas of Kern County is 6%.
7. If I operate a Short Term Vacation Rental Unit within city limits (an incorporated area), do I still need a TOT certificate from the Kern County Treasurer-Tax Collector?
No. Only Short Term Vacation Rental units located in unincorporated areas must receive a TOT certificate from the Kern County Treasurer-Tax Collector. You will need to contact the appropriate city to determine what their TOT requirements are.
8. Do I have to file for a quarter in which I had no rental activity?
Yes, a filing for each TOT certificate must be made quarterly, even if there is no rental activity during the filing period. If you do not file, the Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office will assume there was rental activity during the quarter and charge fees and penalties based on estimated usage.
9. Do I have to submit backup documentation each quarter to the Treasurer-Tax Collector?
No, documentation does not have to be provided each quarter. However, you are required to retain all receipts, exemptions, and backup documentation related to rental activity for no less than 3 years. This backup documentation must be presented to the Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office upon request at any time.
10. When and how often do I have to pay TOT to Kern County?
Kern County's Transient Occupancy Tax is remitted by the operator/owner on a quarterly basis as follows:

1st Quarter: January 1st – March 31st Due Date: April 30th
2nd Quarter: April 1st – June 30th Due Date: July 31st
3rd Quarter: July 1st – September 30th Due Date: October 31st
4th Quarter: October 1st – December 31st Due Date: January 31st
11. What happens if I do not file a quarterly statement?
Failure to file a return will result in an estimate of taxes due and a penalty applied. If the estimate is not paid, additional collection enforcement activities will be initiated up to and including filing a lien, suit for taxes, summary judgement against the operator, and/or seizure of property (T.O.T. Ordinance Chapter 4.16.).
12. What happens if I am late filing a quarterly statement?
Late filing will result in a 10% penalty and 1.5% interest monthly until paid, plus an additional 10% penalty after 30 days nonpayment. Also, a tax lien may be filed.
13. There has been a change in ownership or a change to other information on my registration. What should I do?
Any changes should be reported to the tax collector within 30 days of that change by emailing us at All changes to property rental information must be updated online at
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