Sunday, July 3, 2022

City Council raises lodging tax as part of Tourism Development Fund

City Councilors voted 3-1 to increase the lodging tax by one additional percentage point. (Steve Roberts, Jr./WYDaily)
City Councilors voted 3-1 to increase the lodging tax by one additional percentage point. (Steve Roberts, Jr./WYDaily)

Williamsburg City Council voted to raise the city’s lodging tax an additional 1 percent Thursday in order to bolster revenue for a new tourism development fund.

Councilors voted 3-1 to increase the lodging tax an additional percentage point from 7 to 8 percent. On Aug. 10, council voted to increase the lodging tax from 5 percent to 7 percent. 

The lodging tax comes into effect on July 1, 2018, and will bump the tax from 5 to 8 percent.

In August, councilors voted to increase taxes on lodging, meals, and admission tickets to pay for a tourism development fund, a pool of money the city will use to pay for infrastructure projects with the goal of bringing more visitors to Williamsburg.

The August increase created a 3.5 percent tax on admissions and hiked taxes on meals from 5 to 6.5 percent.

Councilors Doug Pons, Barbara Ramsey, and Vice-Mayor Scott Foster voted in favor of the increase. Councilor Benny Zhang voted against the tax increase measure Thursday, as well as the tax increase in August. Mayor Paul Freiling was absent for the vote Thursday, but has previously recused himself from voting on the tourism development fund due to his work at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. 

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