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Utility Users Tax

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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.

For service providers that need to report UUT tax collected on behalf of the City, you may use the following form, or a form of your choosing that provides the same information:
UUT Remittance Form

Measure H
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 new tax rate went into effect after January 1, 2011. The exact effective dates vary based on each service provider’s implementation schedule and billing cycle.

The links below explain the ordinance in greater detail.
UUT Ordinance
UUT Exemption Resolution
UUT Election Results
UUT Administrative Ruling

Senior Exemption and Low Income Exemption
The UUT 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

Please direct inquiries to: 
City of Santa Cruz, Finance Department
Revenue Division
Phone: 831-420-5070
Fax: 831-420-5051

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