Occupancy tax helps fund Prince Edward County tourism council

Published 3:17 pm Thursday, September 1, 2022

FARMVILLE – As Prince Edward County continues to draw visitors, a new council will help make decisions on how to keep tourists coming back for more.

In response to the adoption of the transient occupancy tax in June of 2021, the Tourism Council will help promote the county in a beneficial way.

In the June 2021 meeting, the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors voted to amend and approve Ordinance 70-221 through 70.231 for the transient occupancy tax. The tax became effective in July 2021 to create a tax of 7% of the total amount paid for lodging for hotels, motels, campgrounds and other facilities offering lodging in Prince Edward County, but not the Town of Farmville as it has its own occupancy tax. This tax is reported to the Commissioner of Revenue before the last day of each month. 

How does this work?

According to Virginia State Code § 58.1-3819, the creation of a tourism council is required when implementing the transient occupational tax. In the June 2022 meeting, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved its creation.

For this tax, the Tourism Council was required to work alongside the Department of Economic Development and Tourism to best promote the county as a travel destination and raise the tourism economic impact. Members of the council will advise, assist, advocate and support tourism policies and programs to help market and promote the county.

Members of the council were announced at the August Board of Supervisors meeting. These individuals will meet on the third Wednesday of every month, beginning in September. Members of the council serve for two-year terms and members are chosen by the Board like other councils in the county.

“We have a lot of industries in the county that are draws for tourism,” said Chelsey White, director of economic development and tourism for Prince Edward County. “We are home to a college and university, we have retail locations that can bring in destination shopping and several other categories here in Prince Edward.”

Representing Prince Edward County

For this council to effectively help and represent the county, members will be from various industries with no more than one-third of the five to nine voting members being from the same industry. Representation in the group will include those involved in retail, lodging, higher education, museums, state parks, spirits, outdoor recreation and/or the Chamber of Commerce in Prince Edward County.

“They are the experts and this provides an opportunity to make sure that we are doing things that are helpful to promote tourism,” White said.

To serve on the council, members do not necessarily have to be a resident of Prince Edward County. Those who work, own a business or are involved with tourism in an adjacent industry are welcome to serve.

According to White, the council and department of economic development and tourism are prepared to work together to bring the best for the county, including applying for and utilizing Virginia Tourism Corporation grants.

To read more about the council’s discussions on taxes, click here.