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This document contains summary information about the City of Santa Cruz, California, Utility Users Tax. It is not a complete representation of the ordinance.

Please direct any inquiries to:
City of Santa Cruz, Finance Department
809 Center Street, Room 101
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
ph 831-420-5070 or e-mail

In November 2010, a local revenue measure (Measure H) was passed increasing the City’s existing utility tax by 1.5% (from 7 to 8.5%) for the purpose of supporting municipal services in our community and modernizing the City utility tax law to ensure that users of different forms of telecommunication utilities are treated equally.

The utility tax is a charge on the use of public utilities such as phone, cell phone, cable television, gas and electric services, as well as municipal water, wastewater, and refuse services. The utility tax applies to both businesses and residents.

All proceeds of the City utility tax are used for local government services in the City of Santa Cruz. The tax pays for law enforcement, fire protection services, emergency medical response, maintenance of city parks and streets, youth programs and the other basics of local government.

The new tax rate (8.5%) goes into effect after January 1, 2011. The exact effective dates vary based on each service provider’s implementation schedule and billing cycle.

The ordinance includes a new exemption program that provides for larger exemptions on gas and electric services for low-income residents and creates new exemptions on gas and electric services for seniors. Details of both exemptions are described below:
Senior Citizen Exemption
Low Income Exemption

To report UUT tax collected on behalf of the City, the service providers can use their own form or the form attached here
UUT Remittance Form

Below are links to various documents that explain the new ordinance in greater detail
UUT Ordinance
UUT Exemption Resolution
UUT Election Results
UUT Administrative Ruling


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Last updated: 2/24/2014 11:26:34 AM