History of the TDF
The TDF was adopted in 2017 with one intent:
The purpose of the Tourism Development Fund (TDF) is to increase patronage to restaurants, attractions, hotels, and events in the City of Williamsburg through financial assistance and reinvestment in tourism products, place-making projects, and public-private partnerships.
The City is looking for partners to help increase tourism. The reason is simple. People agree that the City has to bolster tourism in order to continue offering the world class services and quality of life to which residents and visitors have grown accustomed. To do this, the City has to provide a business-friendly environment, be progressive in thinking about new concepts, and reduce the costs of investment.
The TDF is all three of these rolled into one program. Just by establishing and promoting the availability of a TDF and the partnership it represents, the City is advertising a business-friendly environment. The TDF is not a new concept and is used in many tourism destinations, but it is new to Williamsburg and that sends the message that the City is aggressive in addressing the need for tourism. Lastly, the TDF is a grant program intended to help reduce the costs of investment.
The TDF is funded through a portion of a 1% sales tax increase set by Virginia Senate Bill 942(2018). These funds are made available for grants based on an application/review process and recommendation by a review committee and final approval by City Council. Projects can be new development, expansion of existing projects, public facilities, and improved experiences. Any project that can be shown to increase patronage to restaurants, attractions, hotels and events can qualify and be considered.
Helpful links and documents:
- Memo - Establish Tourism Development Fund
- Resolution #17-12 - Establish TDF and TDF policy
- Ordinance #17-09 - Meals and Lodging Taxes (repealed - see Ordinance #18-01)
- Ordinance #17-10 - Admissions Tax (repealed - see Ordinance #18-01)
- Memo - Comparison Questions and Answers
- Ordinance #18-01 - Repeals City tax increases for tourism
- Memo - Regarding Ordinance #18-01
Previous TDF discussion meetings:
- City Council – November 14, 2019 (Approval of grants)
- City Council Work Session – November 12, 2019 (Preview of TDGRC grants)
- Tourism Development Grant Review Committee – September 27, 2019
- Tourism Development Grant Review Committee – August 23, 2019
- Tourism Development Grant Review Committee – July 26, 2019
- Tourism Development Grant Review Committee – June 26, 2019