Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Governor’s recommendation to sales tax bill adopted

Gov. Northam's amendment to Sen. Norment's sales tax bill eliminates groceries from being taxed. (Photo courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg.)
Gov. Northam’s amendment to Sen. Norment’s sales tax bill eliminates groceries from being taxed. (Photo courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg.)

Gov. Ralph Northam’s decision to not subject groceries to the proposed sales tax bill was adopted by the Senate and House.

The bill submitted by Sen. Tommy Norment, R-James City County, will raise the sales tax in the City of Williamsburg, and James City and York counties by 1 percentage point.

The original proposal would’ve also subjected groceries and food for “human consumption” to the sales tax increase. Northam’s adopted recommendation maintains the $2 transient occupancy tax, which would’ve been eliminated in Norment’s proposal.

The bill also eliminates the tax collected for nightly stays in hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts in Greater Williamsburg.

The City of Williamsburg will need to roll back its tourism tax increase on meals, lodging, and admission tickets. The Williamsburg tax was passed last year, with the expectation that it will take effect on July 1, 2018, if it is not repealed, according to the bill.

In James City County, interim county administrator Bill Porter’s proposed budget includes a 2-cent real estate tax reduction for county residents, if the proposed sales tax bill becomes law.

The bill is currently enrolled to the Senate, which means the final copy of the proposal with the new amendments will be printed on parchment paper, signed by appropriate House and Senate officials and be submitted to the Senate president for signature, according to the Senate’s website.

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