Frequently Asked Questions

See additional information below regarding:

Business License

How do I obtain a business license?

Anyone doing business in the City must have a business license. A new business owner will need to fill out a business license application. If your business is being conducted out your home, a Home Occupation Permit is also required. (Note: A street address of the business is necessary; a post office alone can not be used.) Once received by business license staff, the application is then forwarded to the City Development Services Center for zoning clearance and the appropriate fees are collected. A business license is issued 7 to 10 days later. Business license revenues help pay for law enforcement, fire, street maintenance, and recreation services.

How do I determine the amount of business license tax to pay?

Calculation of business license tax is done as part of the business license application. New businesses will be asked to provide an estimate of gross annual receipts which is the basis for the calculation. Additional fees, based on type and location of the business may be assessed.

Where can I get more business license related information?

Finance staff members are available to assist you through the business license process and can be reached at (760) 639-6174.

Where can I get more information regarding starting a business?

The Doing Business area of the City of Vista Web site is a great source if you're thinking of starting a business. Key Steps to Starting a Business in Vista is filled with contact information and advise to help make your business a success and answer questions like how to create a business plan or obtain a fictitious business name.

Sewer Service Billing

How do I pay for sewer service?

The City of Vista and the Buena Sanitation District provide sewer service to over 21,600 customers combined. Sewer service is billed annually as part of the San Diego County Assessor’s property tax bill and is based on service type and approved rates. To determine which agency provides your sewer service consult the Sewer Service Area Boundaries map. For a copy of current sewer rates see either the City of Vista Sewer Service Rate Table or the Buena Sanitation District Sewer Service Rate Table.

If you have further questions, please call the sewer hotline at (760) 726-1340 ext. 1416.

How do I connect to the sewer system?

Sewer capacity charges, also known as wastewater discharge permit fees or sewer connection fees, are one-time fees paid when new development or expansion of existing development occurs and is based on the number of equivalent dwelling units (EDUs) projected to be contributed to the system. Sewer capacity charges are adjusted annually to reflect the impact of inflation on sewer facility construction costs. For additional information regarding connection to the sewer system please contact the Sanitation Engineering Division.

Assessment Districts/CFD Administration

Where can I get more information regarding Assessment Districts and CFDs?

Special assessment districts have been established to fund city-wide services including street sweeping, street lighting, and traffic signals. Community Facility Districts (CFD) provide funding for improvements to specific areas. Annual costs for these districts are billed to property owners as a fixed charge assessment on the property tax bill issued by the County of San Diego.

Financial Reporting

How do I obtain a copy of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)?

A CAFR is a governmental unit's official annual financial report and is prepared and published as a matter of public record. CAFRs are available to download from the Finance Department main Web page.

How do I obtain a copy of the Operating or Capital Budgets?

An Operating Budget is a financial plan for a specified period of time that matches planned revenues and expenditures to municipal services. A Capital Budget is a plan of proposed capital outlays and the means of financing them. Both the Operating and Capital Budgets are available from the Finance Department main Web page.


How can I become more informed regarding the City's investment policies?

The Investment Advisory Committee monitors the practices and procedures of the Treasurer by review to determine if the Treasurer has compiled with the City's Investment Policy. It also reviews the policies of the City with respect to investment activities. The Committee meets on the 4th Thursday of April and October. For more information please call the number listed for Treasury/Banking on the Contact Us Web page.

Accounts Payable

How do I find out when a payment for a vendor will be processed?

Authorized payments to vendors and others are processed every other Friday.

How do I provide information to the City for processing of vendor payments?

All vendors to the City must provide information regarding their business so that appropriate taxes may be recorded and paid.

How can I let the City know that my business would like to be considered to bid on future projects?

The list of vendors is maintained and referred to when jobs related to the City are available for bid.