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Occupancy Tax

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The Occupancy Tax rate for Dare County is six percent (6%) of gross receipts derived from the rental of room, lodging, campsite, or similar accommodation furnished by any hotel, motel, inn, tourist camp including private residences and cottages rented to transients. This tax does not apply to any private residence or cottage that is rented for less than fifteen (15) days in a calendar year or to any room, lodging, or accommodation supplied to the same person for a period of ninety (90) or more continuous days. 


How to File and Pay

Make checks payable and mail payment and report to:

P.O. Box 1000
Manteo, NC 27954


Occupancy Tax Gross Collections (Historical Data)

The county shall administer an Occupancy Tax levied under various NC General Statutes. A tax levied under this act is due and payable to the county tax collector in monthly installments on or before the twentieth (20) day of the month following the month in which the tax accrues.

Every person, firm corporation, or association liable for the tax shall, on or before the twentieth (20) of each month, prepare and render a return on a form prescribed by the county. The return shall state the total gross receipts derived in the preceding month from rentals and sales upon which the tax is levied.

A return filed with the Dare County Tax Collector under this act is not a public record as defined by
G.S. 132-1 and may not be disclosed except as required by law.

Failure to Report and/or Pay

Any person, firm, corporation or association who fails to file  a return on the date it is due as required by this act shall pay a penalty equal to five percent (5%) of the amount of the tax due if the failure is for not more than one (1) month, with an additional five percent (5%) for each additional month or fraction thereof not to exceed twenty-five percent (25%) in the aggregate, or five dollars ($5.00), whichever is the greater.

Any person, firm corporation or association who fails to pay the tax on the date it is due shall pay a penalty equal to ten percent (10%) of the amount of the tax due. Failure to both file a return AND pay the tax as required by this act shall result in imposition of BOTH penalties.

Failure which is determined to be negligent, willful, or fraudulent will result in increased penalties and potential punishment as a Class 1 misdemeanor. G.S. 105-236.

The authorization and distribution for the 6% occupancy tax rate are as follows:

3% (three percent) Room Occupancy Tax

  • Authorization House Bill 532, 1985 Session, General Assembly of North Carolina Effective July 1, 1985
  • Distribution must be used only for tourist-related purposes, including construction and maintenance of public facilities and buildings, garbage, refuse, solid waste collection and disposal, police protection and emergency services.

2/3 to the 6 towns (Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Manteo). Distributed in proportion to the amount of ad valorem tax levied by each Town for the preceding fiscal year

Gross Occupancy Tax Distributions (Historical Data)

1/3 to Dare County

In FY 2016, Dare County has earmarked their share of this 3% occupancy tax as follows:

  • 25% for garbage, refuse, and solid waste collection and disposal
  • 25% for police protection (Sheriff’s Office)
  • 50% for emergency services (Communications, Emergency Medical services, Emergency Medical Helicopter, and Emergency Management).

1% (one percent) Room Occupancy and Tourism Development Tax

  • Authorization House Bill 225, 1991 Session, General Assembly of North Carolina Effective January 1, 1992
  • Distribution is as follows:

First eligible expense is the cost of an annual audit

75% must be used for the cost of administration and to promote tourism, including the following:

  • advertising to promote less than peak season events and programs
  • marketing research
  • a mail and telephone inquiry response program
  • welcoming and hospitality functions

25% must be used for services or programs needed due to the impact of tourism on the county.

2% (two percent) Room Occupancy and Tourism Development Tax for Beach Nourishment

  • Authorization Senate Bill 92, 2001 Session, General Assembly of North Carolina Effective September 1, 2002
  • Authorization Senate Bill 1298, Session Law 2010-78, Section 7, General Assembly of North Carolina Effective January 1, 2014.
  • Distribution includes expenditures for the following:

Costs directly associated with qualifying for projects either contracted through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or otherwise permitted by all appropriate Federal and State agencies;

The non-federal share of the costs required to construct these projects

The costs associated with providing enhanced public beach access;

The costs of associated non-hardening activities such as the planting of vegetation, the building of dunes, and the placement of sand fences.