Taxable Activities

Gross receipts generated from the following types of business activities are subject to the City of Tempe privilege tax (1.8% City tax, unless stated differently). This summary provides only broad guidelines as to which activities are taxable and is not intended to be a comprehensive list of such activities.

Advertising (§16-405)
The activity of advertising by billboards, direct mail, radio, television, or any other means. All delivery or disseminating of information directly to the public for consideration shall be considered advertising.

Amusements (§16-410)
The operating of movies, shows, exhibitions, concerts, carnivals, circuses, bowling alleys, skating rinks, tennis courts, golf courses, video games, pinball machines, dance halls, sports events, batting and driving ranges, health spas, fitness centers, etc. Any business charging admission for exhibition, amusement or entertainment is taxable under this business activity.

Contracting (§16-415, §16-416, §16-417)
The construction, alteration, repair or demolition of real property. A business/person may not meet the qualifications to be licensed as a contractor by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors, but would still be subject to the tax under a the contracting classification. Contracting includes the activities of developers, speculative builders, general contractors, contractors, subcontractors, construction managers, and owner-builders.    Contracting Bulletin

Hotel /Motel /Transient Lodging (§16-444, §16-447)
Any public or private facility within the City furnishing lodging to any person. In addition to the one and eight-tenths percent (1.8%) privilege tax on the rental of real property, there is a five percent (5%) transient lodging tax on the business activity of any hotel, motel, apartment, or individual engaged in charging for lodging space to any person for 30 days or less.

Job Printing (§16-425)
The activity of copying or reproducing an article by any means, process or method. This includes engraving, embossing, copying, micrographics and photo reproduction.

Manufactured Building (§16-427)
The business of selling manufactured buildings within the City, including the site preparation, moving, and set-up charges. Manufactured buildings are factory built homes and buildings as defined in A.R.S. § 41-2142. This business activity occurs at the location of the sellers business.

Timbering/Extraction (§16-430)
A business engaged in felling, producing, or preparing timber for sale, or engaged in extracting, refining, or producing any oil or gas for sale.

Mining (§16-432)
Mining activity includes any business engaged in mining, smelting, or producing minerals or mineral products for sale. This activity does not include the extraction, removal or production of sand, gravel or rock. The city tax rate on this activity is .1%.

Publishing (§16-435)
The publication of newspapers, magazines, or other periodicals within the City. Included in taxable revenue is subscription and advertising income, based on circulation of the published item within the City.

Rental of Real Property (§16-445)
The leasing, licensing for use or renting of any real property within the City. Included as real property are land, rights-of-way, commercial building(s), office space, storage facilities, apartments, homes or other residential units, etc.   Residential Rentals  Commercial Rental Brochure

Rental of Tangible Personal Property (§16-450)
This business activity includes leasing, licensing for use or renting equipment, automobiles, tools, furniture, coin-operated laundromats or carwashes, videos, or any other tangible personal property.

Restaurants & Bars (§16-455)
Restaurants include any business where articles of food, drink, or condiment are prepared or served to patrons for consumption on or off the premises. This activity includes bars, lounges, restaurants, caterers, street and mobile vendors and "fast food" establishments. 

Retail Sales (§16-460)
Retail activity includes the sale of any tangible personal property, including items such as automobiles, furniture, clothing, equipment, etc.

Sales of Food for Home Consumption (§16-460)
Retail sale of any items intended for human consumption as defined by rules and regulations adopted by Arizona Department Of Revenue. Food does not include alcoholic beverages or tobacco. The city tax rate on this activity is 1.8%.

Telecommunication Service (§16-470)
Telecommunication Service includes any service or activity connected with transmission over a communication channel. This activity includes telephone, telegraph, cable TV, computer interface, Internet and FAX services. Also included are monitoring services for security or alarm systems.

Transportation (§16-475)
Any business providing the transport of persons or property by railroad, the transport of oil or gas through a pipeline or the transporting of property by aircraft is subject to tax under this classification. Transporting people by other means for a fee based on mileage is exempt. Transporting people by other means for a fixed fee or hourly rate is taxable under Rental of Tangible Personal Property.

Utility Services (§16-480)
Utility Services include any business producing, providing or furnishing electricity, power, gas, or water to consumers within the City.

Use Tax (§16-610)
Use tax is a tax on the purchase of tangible personal property (such as vehicles, equipment, supplies, etc.) on which an equivalent City privilege tax has not been paid.