Onyx Jones, MPA
Chief Financial Officer
Phone: (310) 253-5865
The Finance Department provides sound fiscal advice and information to City officials, City departments and the general public that ensures a financially strong and effective city government. The department plays a key role in each financial transaction of the City and Successor Agency, ranging from cash handling to debt management; from financial forecasting to budgetary controls. The Department responsibilities include: financial administration, budgeting and financial analysis, accounting and auditing of City resources, establishment of sound internal controls, cash management, debt management, purchasing, investments, billing and collection of monies due the City, issuing of business licenses, accounts payable and payroll. The Department assists the City Manager in preparing and administering the operating and capital improvement budgets, ensures accurate fiscal analysis on items presented to the City Council, and through the City Manager, provides an annual audited statement of the City’s financial condition to the City Council, prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting standards.
How has COVID-19 impacted the City's Finances?
The City's Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Onyx Jones, provided a City Budget and 10-Year Forecast Update Presentation at the City Council Meeting on April 27, 2020. Updated forecasts were discussed during the May 11th Fiscal Year 2020/2021 Proposed Budget Presentation.
How many votes of the City Council does it take to amend the City's adopted budget?
I have a great suggestion on how to save the City money. How can I let someone know?
What are the starting and ending dates of Culver City's fiscal year?
What is the Total City Budget for Fiscal Year 2019-20?
What is the Total General Fund Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2019-20?
When does the proposed budget need to be submitted to the City Council?
Can I get a business tax certificate today?
Business Tax Certificates are available over the counter at the Finance Department on the first floor of City Hall. The application process takes only a few minutes, and the receipt for payment acts as a temporary business tax certificate. Permanent Business Tax Certificates are issued within two weeks of receipt of a complete application.
How do I apply for a Culver City Commercial Cannabis Business Permit?
I have been paying Los Angeles business taxes for over 2 years, and now I am told that I am located in Culver City. Do I have to pay taxes to Culver City for those two years and penalties even though I have already paid Los Angeles in error?
Taxes are due to Culver City from the date that business operations actually commenced. Business owners who have erroneously paid taxes to Los Angeles are entitled to request Los Angeles for a refund of taxes paid in error.
I wasn't notified and I wasn't aware that I needed a business tax certificate until I had already been in business for over two years. Am I still required to pay back taxes along with penalties?
The requirement for a business tax certificate and payment of business tax is a uniform requirement for nearly all cities in California. It is the business owner's responsibility to determine the city's requirements for taxes, fees, permits, zoning, signage, etc. before starting business. A business is responsible for payment of business tax from the date that they started doing business. If they are delinquent in paying tax, then they are required to pay late payment penalties in addition to the tax obligation.
If I operate a business from my home, do I need a business tax certificate? Are there any restrictions on home based businesses?
Businesses operated from any location or address within Culver City, including a residential address, are required to obtain a business tax certificate.
Businesses operated from a residence must abide by the following requirements of the Culver City zoning code:
- No disruption to the neighborhood.
- No clients/customers on the premises.
- No disturbing noise, vibrations, etc.
- No employees on the premises.
- No advertising or signs.
- No storage of materials.
- No parking of commercial vehicles.
If I own an apartment building or rental property, do I need a business tax certificate?
A residential rental property with four (4) or more units being rented is a business activity which requires a business tax certificate, payment of annual business tax and an annual fire inspection. A residential rental property of three (3) units being rented requires an annual fire inspection but is not required to maintain a business tax certificate or pay annual business tax. Residential rental units of two (2) or fewer units being rented are not required to maintain a business tax certificate or pay business tax.
If we are a non-profit organization, are we still required to apply for a city tax certificate?
Yes, non-profit organizations are required to obtain a business tax certificate; but, are exempted from paying business tax on those activities for which they have I.R.S. proof of tax exemption. If they engage in activities which are not related to their non-profit functions, then they are required to pay local business tax on those business activities which are not related to their non-profit status.
Is a business located outside of Culver City, but coming into Culver City to provide goods or services, required to apply for a city tax certificate?
All businesses operating within the City are required to obtain a business tax certificate, no matter where their main office may be located.
Is a separate business tax certificate required for each separate location, different dba's, and each type/activity of business at the same location?
The Culver City Municipal Code requires that a separate business tax certificate be obtained for each location of a business, each "dba" or name of a business, and each type of business activity at the same location. For example, a business which provides both retail and wholesale sales and repair services at the same location is required to have a separate business tax certificate for each of these three separate business activities. A restaurant business with four different locations is required to have a separate business tax certificate for each location.
Is it a violation of the CCMC to operate a business without first applying for a business tax certificate?
Business owners are subject to separate citations for each day that a business operates without a business tax certificate. Each citation for failure to obtain a business tax certificate is a misdemeanor punishable by fine up to $1,000, imprisonment for up to 6 months, or both.
Is the business tax certificate good for the next twelve months?
The business tax certificate is valid for the current calendar year, January through December. It must be renewed for each year that the business is in operation.
What are the business tax rates? When are taxes due? What is the penalty for late payment?
Business taxes are due upon receipt of the business tax certificate renewal notice which is mailed in early December of each year. Business tax becomes delinquent if not paid by the last day of February. Late payment carries a penalty of 20% per month up to 100% of the amount due.
Business tax rates depend on the type of business activity. Most business activities are taxed on the basis of gross receipts - that is, the total amount of money taken in by the business, whether they made a profit or not. Businesses which have not generated any gross receipts during the tax year are taxed on the basis of their cost of operations.
Wholesale/retail sales and most services are taxed at a rate of $1 per $1,000 of gross receipts. Consulting and most professional services are taxed at a rate of $3 per $1,000 of gross receipts. Other business activities (such as commercial vehicles, vending machines or warehouses) are taxed on a unit basis. Contact the Revenue Division at 310-253-5870 for the business tax rate on a specific business activity.
Where is the Revenue Division located?
Business Tax Certificates are issued by the Revenue Division, located on the first floor of City Hall at 9770 Culver Blvd., Culver City CA 90232.
Who needs a business tax certificate? How do I apply? When must I apply?
All individuals, corporations, firms, syndicates, joint stock corporations, partnerships, trusts, associations, organizations, clubs, and societies which offer goods, materials, commodities, wares, merchandise or services for sale to the public in Culver City and all professions, crafts, trades, occupations and callings of every kind and nature which are carried on for profit in Culver City are required to obtain a business tax certificate within 30 days of starting business.
A business tax certificate is required whether the business actually makes a profit or not. Independent contractors must obtain a business tax certificate. Non-profit organizations are required to obtain a business tax certificate but are exempted from paying business tax on those activities for which they have I.R.S. proof of tax exemption.
The only entities exempt from obtaining a business tax certificate are homeowner associations and employees of a business.
A business tax certificate is not a permit to operate - it is simply a receipt for payment of business tax.
Depending on the type of business and the location, Culver City, Los Angeles County and the state may require various permits to operate.
Required business tax certificate application forms are available online or from the Finance Department at City Hall, 9770 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232, 310-253-5870.
For businesses based at a Culver City address (including P.O. Boxes) the business owner or his representative must submit the application in person to the Finance Department.
Will my business tax certificate be good in Los Angeles or other cities?
No, each city issues its own business tax certificates and assesses its own tax. A Culver City business tax certificate is valid only for operations within Culver City.
How do I obtain a yard sale permit?
Apply online by completing the Yard Sale Permits form. Yard sale permits may be obtained from the Business Tax Division of the Finance Department. To contact the Business Tax Division, please call 310-253-5870.
What services are subject to utility user tax?
Where are the City’s audited financial statements?
The City’s audited financial statements are located under the Financial Transparency section.
Where are the Finance offices located?
The Finance Department is located on the first floor of City Hall, at 9770 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232.
What is the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) and who is exempt from paying it?
What is the Utility User Tax (UUT) rate?
What services are subject to utility user tax (UUT)?
Where can I get information on the Culver City tax ordinances?
Who is exempt from utility user tax (UUT)?
You may be exempt from paying utility user's tax for your personal residence if:
- You are a resident of Culver City;
- You are 60 years of age or older;
- Your Total Adjusted Gross Income was nor more than $18,200 for the last calendar year; AND the combined Adjusted Gross Income of all members of the household in which you reside was no more than $21,500; OR
- You are a resident of Culver City who meets the criterion of Disability, as established by the Social Security Administration's Supplemental Security Income Program for the Aged, Blind and Disability (Title XVI of the Social Security Act as amended), without regard to your age.
If you believe you qualify for an exemption and refund of utility user tax paid in the current year, contact the Finance Department at 310-253-5865. Applications for each are available below:
What business activities need a special permit? How do I apply? What is the cost?
Application must be made in person at the Finance Department at City Hall. A police background check may be required for some business activities. Please contact the Business License Division at 310-253-5870, for information on permit fees.
A complete list of business activities requiring a special permit to operate from the City's Committee on Permits and Licenses is provided below:
|Lecture/Ltd Time Performance (open to the public)|
|Animal Show w/ Admission||Limousine Service|
|Art/Antique Show-Promoter||Massage Tech /Acupressure|
|Art/Antique Show-Vendors||Massage/Acupressure Facility|
|Auction House Auctioneer||Newspaper (fee)|
|Auto Parking Lot||Parade|
|Auto Parking Service (Valet)||Pawnbroker|
|Beer Bar||Pool Hall|
|Billiard Hall||Radio Station|
|Bridge Card Room||Rentals/Motor Vehicles|
|Bus Service||Rentals-Personal Property|
|Car Wash||Rest/Retirement Home|
|Carnival||Restaurant serving beer/wine/alcohol|
|Catering Truck||Sales Broker-Used Merchandise|
|Charitable Bingo||Salvage Dealer/Collector|
|Charitable solicitation||Sanitarium/Convalescent Hospital|
|Check Cashing Service||Security Guards/Detective|
|Christmas Tree/Sales||Sidewalk/Rummage Sale|
|Cocktail Bar||Special Event (Vendors)|
|Computer Services (On-Line/Credit Card)||Street Vendor-Non Motor|
|Curb Painting||Tanning Facility|
|Dancing/Soft Drink Establishment||Tattoo Parlor|
|Dismantling/Wrecking Yard||Telephone 900 Service|
|Employment/Talent Agency||Telephone Solicitation|
|Fortune Teller||Ticket Sales|
|Funeral Parlor/Mortuary||Towing Service|
|Golf Course/Drive Range||Trade Show-Promoter|
|Handbill Distributor||Trade Show-Vendors|
|Health Club/Physical Training||Travel Agency|
|Hospital||Used Computer Sales|
|Hypnotherapy||Used Merchandise Sales|
|Ice/roller Skating Rink||Used Motor Vehicle Sales|
|Import/Export||Vehicle Fleet Sales|
|Impound Yard||Vending/Amusement Machines|
|In-Home Health Care||Veterinarian/Animal Hospital|
|Klieg Lights/Advertising||Wedding Chapel|
What events need a special permit? How do I apply? What is the cost?
All events open to the public require a permit from the City's Committee on Permits and Licenses. Application must be made in person at the Finance Department at City Hall. Please contact the Business License Division at 310-253-5870, for information on permit fees.