9.04.196 Rental of five or more units of residential real property.

A.    Notwithstanding Section 9.04.195, this Section shall govern the taxation of gross receipts from the rental of five or more residential rental units in the city of Berkeley.

B.    Every person engaged, directly or indirectly, including through an interest in another entity, in the business of renting or leasing dwelling units in the City of Berkeley shall pay an annual tax as provided in Section 9.04.240 for each thousand dollars of gross receipts.

C.    Gross receipts from the following categories of dwelling units shall not be subject to this Section, but shall be subject to section 9.04.195:

1.    dwelling units owned by a nonprofit corporation whose primary purpose is the provision of affordable housing, as provided in Section 9.04.300;

2.    dwelling units whose rents are controlled under state or federal law, deed restrictions, or agreements with public agencies, at rental rates that are affordable to households earning no more than 80% of AMI and whose tenants must be income-qualified;

3.    any unit subject to rent control under Chapter 13.76 that are occupied by a tenant who resided in that unit prior to January 1, 1999;

4.    units occupied by tenants receiving monthly rental assistance (such as Section 8 vouchers or Shelter + Care) from the Berkeley Housing Authority or City of Berkeley; and

5.    any dwelling unit during the first 12 years after the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

D.    Any person who would otherwise be subject to the tax imposed under this Section may seek a 1 year hardship exemption due to exceptional circumstances. The City Manager may approve such applications for good cause. Such approvals shall be in writing and specifically state the factors that constitute good cause. Any hardship exemption shall be effective for one tax year only, after which it will expire. Taxpayers who seek hardship exemptions must reapply every year.

E.    The City Council may reduce the tax rate set forth in Section 9.04.240 under this Section for rental of five or more dwelling units, and may terminate any such reductions, without further voter approval.

F.    The tax imposed by this Chapter shall not be passed on to sitting tenants in the form of rent increases or in any manner, even if permitted under Chapter 13.76. (Ord. 7523-NS § 2, 2016)