The Williamsburg Tourism Zone was approved by Williamsburg City Council in October 2016. The Tourism Zone allows the City to provide tax benefits to qualifying businesses within the zone. The zone is in the Northeast Triangle area of the City.
The incentives in the tourism zone are in place to stimulate private investment in businesses that will attract customers and visitors to the area who live outside of Williamsburg. Both existing businesses that expand and new businesses may qualify.
The following taxes and/or fees may be refunded or waived for a period of up to five years:
- Business license (BPOL) tax
- Meal tax
- Room tax
- Sales tax (1% local portion)
- Zoning and building permit fee
A Tourism Business that could qualify for Tourism Zone incentives include:
- Art studios/workshops
- Bake shops
- Culinary schools
- Micro-beverage (including beer, cider, liquor, mead)
- Museums/art galleries
- Theaters/assembly halls
The level of incentives will be based on the following criteria. In order to qualify, an existing Tourism Business must make a minimum capital investment of $50,000. While a new business must make a minimum capital investment of $250,000.
- Capital investment
- Forecasted local tax generation
- Healthy food concept or pedestrian-friendly designs that exceed City requirements
- Job creation
- Live performing arts or art for sale
- Public art contribution