Why do we need a Tourism Development Fund (TDF)?

The largest driver of Williamsburg’s economy is tourism. This industry gets the credit for keeping the real property tax rate in the City at one of the lowest in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The industry employs thousands and supports all of the quality of life we enjoy as residents. However, since the mid-1990’s we have seen a significant decline in visitation which results in fewer jobs, less tax revenue, and a reduction in programming.

It is difficult to credit one national trend or action for this reduction so we will not speculate. The community has spent years talking about the decline and trying to address it. However, ultimately every corrective action depends on additional revenue to add reasons for visiting Williamsburg, for advertising new and interesting events or activities, and for creating a place that people want to visit and remember.

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1. Why do we need a Tourism Development Fund (TDF)?
2. What types of projects could be funded by the TDF?
3. How much would taxes increase if the TDF is approved?
4. Why can’t the City fund the TDF using existing revenues?
5. Is anyone able to apply for funding?
6. How would the TDF money be distributed?
7. Why does the City have to fund the projects?
8. How did City Council decide on a Tourism Development Fund?
9. Will unspent TDF money rollover into the next year?
10. How does the TDF differ from the City’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)?
11. Where has a TDF been successful in a similar market to ours?
12. How will we determine the success of the TDF?