The Williamsburg Hotel Motel Association (WHMA) supports the construction of a 68,000 square foot indoor sports complex saying that it would attract tourism and be a boost for the greater Williamsburg area. However, a bill to fund the project, Senate Bill 254, sponsored by Sen. Thomas Norment, R-James City, was scraped.
In an unanimous vote on Jan. 15, the Senate finance and appropriations committee killed the proposal – often referred to by some locals as the “Tommy Tax”. If allowed to pass, the bill would’ve amended SB 942 by requiring 10% of sales tax revenue be set aside for the regional sports complex.
Senate Bill 942
Del. Amanda Batten, R-Norge, R-Norge, wants to end the Historical Triangle’s 1% sales tax increase that was to be used to fund local tourism marketing efforts.
The 1% sales tax increase was introduced via Senate Bill 942 which also created a new Tourism Council associated with the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance. A $2 transient occupancy tax was also established which is used by the Tourism Council to market the Williamsburg area to overnight visitors. Batten’s bill would end the 1% sales tax on July 1, 2026 unless Williamsburg, James City County and York County constituents vote to keep it.
The Tourism Council said that $21.6 million was collected in 2019 thanks to the 1% sales tax. According to Tax.Virginia.Gov, the area’s sales tax is 7 percent. Code of the City of Williamsburg Sec. 18-236. Code of Virginia 58-1-3823 C.