Historic Triangle Bill passes Virginia Senate

RICHMOND, Va. – Senate Bill 942, better known as the Historic Triangle Bill, was passed by the Virginia State Senate on Wednesday.

The bill will allow for the creation of a one percent state sales and use tax for the Historic Triangle, which consist of the City of Willaimsburg and both the counties of James City and York.

According to officials, the bill will help boost revenue and economic development for an area of the Commonwealth that relies heavily on tourism.

“Fifty percent of the revenues will be used to market, promote, and advertise the Historic Triangle as a tourism destination, and the other 50 percent will be distributed to the localities in which the revenues were collected. The revenues for tourism will be deposited into a fund to be administered by the Tourism Council of the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance (the Council), created by the bill. The Council will oversee an office of tourism, and will report annually to the chief executive officer of each locality in the Historic Triangle and to the chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Finance,” according to a statement from the Virginia Senate.

Just because it passed the Virginia Senate does not mean that this bill is going into law instantly.

The bill is contingent on the City of Williamsburg doing away with ordinances that raise the local transient occupancy, plus food and beverage cost and admission rates to events and attractions.

Two provisions that are included in the bill will check localities that want to implement tourism taxes and financial increases in the future, by removing the authority of these localities who impose the current $2 transient occupancy tax used to promote tourism in the area.

The bill will also expire if any of the localities in the Historic Triangle raise or reinstate these taxes in the next seven years.

For a full summary of the bill, and more documentation from Virginia’s Legislative Information System, click here.