Board of Supervisors to consider sales tax bill amendment to county code

jojacobs@vagazette.com

James City Board of Supervisors will weigh an amendment to the county code that would pave the way for reallocation of the county’s transient occupancy tax revenue as part of Senate Bill 942.

The county code provides for the $2 transient occupancy tax, which is levied per room night on overnight guests in tourist accommodations. The revenue has been used by the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance’s Williamsburg Area Destination Marketing Committee to advertise the Historic Triangle.

The amendment would redirect that revenue to the chamber’s newly minted Tourism Council, which will operate the Historic Triangle Marketing Fund in accordance with Senate Bill 942, James City County assistant attorney Elizabeth Parman wrote in a memo to the board.

Half of the transient occupancy tax revenue will be allocated to marketing and advertising by the chamber, while the other half would be allocated to James City, Williamsburg and York based on where the tax was collected.

Williamsburg’s projected revenue in fiscal year 2019 due to the transient occupancy tax is $565,000. James City expects about $400,000 and York expects to generate about $500,000.

A public hearing will precede the vote.

Approval would bring the Historic Triangle Marking Fund one step closer to operation. Senate Bill 942 created the fund as a way to market Williamsburg, James City and York to overnight tourists. The bill increased the sales tax rate in those localities by 1 percent, and that revenue is likewise split between the fund and the localities in which it is collected.

The city expects to collect $1.9 million thanks to the sales tax increase. James City looks to generate $4.5 million and York projects $4.1 million.

The Board of Supervisors will met 5 p.m. Tuesday at the county government center board room, which is located at 101 Mounts Bay Road.

Jacobs can be reached by phone at 757-298-6007.

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