The Santa Ana Tourism Marketing District (SATMD) was established by the hospitality community to create a citywide benefit assessment district designed to improve tourism activity and increase hotel room night consumption in the City of Santa Ana. In 2020, City Council unanimously approved a 2% assessment on room revenue for all hotels of 70 rooms or more within the city for an initial five-year term beginning January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2025. The assessment is listed on the hotel room folio as it can be charged to the guest and will fund marketing efforts, tourism promotion activities, and special events and programs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Tourism Marketing District (TMD)?
The Santa Ana Tourism Marketing District (SATMD) Assessment is a benefit assessment district proposed to create a revenue source to help fund marketing and sales promotion efforts for Santa Ana lodging businesses. This approach has been used successfully in other destination areas throughout the state to improve tourism and drive additional room nights to assessed lodging businesses.
A Tourism Marketing District (TMD) is similar to a Business Improvement District (BID) where businesses pay an additional fee in order to fund improvements within the district’s boundaries. In Santa Ana, the TMD is managed by the non-profit organization, Travel Santa Ana to administer the program and market Santa Ana as a premiere destination for leisure, business, and group meetings travel.
Is the SATMD Assessment a tax?
The SATMD Assessment is not a tax; it is a separate assessment, which is collected concurrently with the monthly Hotel Visitor’s Tax (HVT). Because the SATMD Assessment is an assessment and not a tax, even though it is collected at the same time as HVT, you will be asked to submit the SATMD assessment and HVT on two different reporting forms and remit two different checks. Sample reporting form can be found here.
How much is the SATMD Assessment?
The SATMD assessment rate is two percent (2%) of monthly gross short-term room rental revenue.
Who is required to pay the SATMD Assessment?
The SATMD Assessment will be applied to all short-term guests with stays of thirty (30) days or less. Assessments will not be collected on: stays of more than thirty (30) consecutive days; stays of any officer or employee of a foreign government who is exempt by reason of express provision of federal law or international treaty; stays pursuant to contracts executed prior to 1/1/21; and stays by any federal or state officer or employee while on official business only and when payment for such occupancy is made directly to the operator by duly authorized voucher payment from a governmental accounting office.
When is the SATMD Assessment due?
The SATMD Assessment will be collected concurrently with the monthly HVT and will be due on the last day of the month following the reporting period. (Example: assessments for rents collected in January will be due on or before 2/28/21).
Can the SATMD Assessment be passed on to guests?
Yes, the SATMD Assessment can be passed on to guests. If you intend to pass the SATMD Assessment on to your guests, the amount of the assessment must be separately stated from the amount of rent charged and any other applicable taxes, such as HVT. Guests must receive acknowledgement of his or her payment of the SATMD Assessment as part of their guest receipt. Guest folios must be updated to identify this assessment as the “Tourism Marketing Assessment” in a separate line item on the guests’ folio. As an alternative, you may combine the amount of the SATMD assessment and the amount of the assessment imposed pursuant to the California Tourism Marketing Act, and disclose the combined assessments as the “Tourism Assessment”.
Can the HVT and SATMD Assessment be combined on the guest folio and reported as a combined total City?
No, the HVT (11%) and SATMD cannot be combined on the guest folio and reported as a combined total. Guest folios must be updated to identify this assessment as the “Tourism Marketing Assessment” in a separate line item. A separate SATMD Assessment reporting form will be provided for you to report the gross short-term room rental revenue and calculated two percent (2%) assessment and you will be asked to submit the SATMD Assessment and HVT in two (2) different checks.
How do I remit my HVT and SATMD Assessment return?
Your monthly SATMD Assessment report and payment can be remitted (1) in person or (2) by mail to:
- Santa Ana City Hall, Tourism Marketing District Assessment, 20 Civic Center Plaza, 1100 - 1st Floor Ross Annex
- City of Santa Ana, Tourism Marketing District Assessment (M-15), P.O. Box 1964, Santa Ana, CA 92701-1964
Do other cities have a TMD?
TMDs are an increasingly popular method to expand marketing budgets, having been adopted by more than 95 cities in California alone in recent years.
For more information about the TMD, please contact: