ISSUE: Tourism spending and how it benefits residents

​FACT: Tourism provides more than 13,000 jobs, pays for major public projects and contributes about $56.4 million back to the City's General Fund. This equates to about 10 cents of savings on the Virginia Beach property tax rate.
​As one of the largest industries and economic instruments in the city, tourism plays a pivotal role in encouraging growth and funding initiatives that enhances our local community. While some projects are designed to attract tourists in support of this major business sector, these projects also provide an enhanced quality of life for residents; the amenities are available for local use without citizens having to fund them (except through the discretionary restaurant and admissions taxes). They are paid for by dedicated taxes generated by tourism industry partners (hoteliers, restauranteurs and entertainment venues) imposed specifically to help pay for tourism-related projects. These projects help keep Virginia Beach relevant in the very competitive travel segment. 

In addition to providing jobs, and paying for major public projects, Virginia Beach tourism also contributes about $56.4 million back to the City's General Fund (about 10 cents on the property tax rate) to the City’s General Fund. This helps pay for essential City services like police, fire and emergency medical, schools, storm water and roads.​

​What Residents Think about Tourism (from 2016 Locals Perception of Tourism study):

  • 91.1% satisfied with their quality of life in VB
  • 86.4% believe that tourism benefits residents of VB (jumps to 91.4% when provided tourism data)
  • 83.4% understand that revenue from tourism helps pay for police, fire, roads and other city services
  • 83.2% believe that elected officials in VB should support policies to promote tourism
  • 75.5% believe it is important for VB to upgrade amenities to compete with other cities​

FY 2017-2018 ​Local Real Estate Tax & Personal Property Rates​



​Chesapeake​$1.04 per $100 of assessed value (non mosquito controlled)
$1.05 per $100 of assessed value (mosquito controlled)
​Hampton​$1.24 per $100 of assessed value
​Newport News​$1.22 per $100 of assessed value
​Norfolk​$1.15 per $100 of assessed value
​Portsmouth​$1.30 per $100 of assessed value
​Suffolk​$1.07 per $100 of assessed value​
​Virginia Beach$1.0025 per $100 of assessed value
(one dollar and 1/4 of a penny)

Projects that Tourism Built

  • ​​Virginia Beach Convention Center - $206.8 M
  • Sandler Center - $46.9 M
  • Beach Erosion & Hurricane Protection - $44.8 M 
  • Atlantic Ave. Improvements - $42.5 M
  • Rudee Walk Develpoment - $14.2 M
  • Boardwalk Revitalization - $3.5 M
  • Virginia Aquarium Parking - $3.0 M
  • Atlantic Ave. Trolley Replacement - $2.8 M
  • City Gateway Projects $2.2 M​
  • Currently Underway: 
    • Pacific Avenue ($17.3 M)
    • 19th Street Infrastructure ($14.9 M)

About Resort Area Tourism

  • ​​​​7.1 million overnight visitors come to Virginia Beach annually
  • The oceanfront area represents 1.4% of the City’s land area (excluding the actual beach) but equates to 7.6% or $4.2 billion of the City’s total assessments. This equates to $42 million in real estate tax revenues
  • Citywide, hotels, timeshares and hotel-condos generate $11.9 million in real estate taxes. Of this, $10.4 million or 87%, is within the resort area 
  • In FY 2016, resort area combined tax revenues from the hotel, restaurant, admissions, general sales and Business, Professional and Occupation Licenses (BPOL) generated more than $38.4 million ​

Where the Revenue is Allocated?

​Revenue Sources​Amount of Revenue Generated​General Government & Schools​Tourism Investment Program (TIP)​Tourism Advertising Program (TAP)​Open Space Program​Economic Development Investment Program
​Hotel Tax (8% + $2)​$30.7 M​$7.3 M​$17.6 M​$5.8 MN/A​N/A
​Meal Tax (5.5%)​$68.8 M​$43.8 M​$13.2 M​$6.3 M​$5.5 M​N/A
​Amusement Tax (10% / 5%)​$6.3 MN/A$6.3 M​N/A​N/A​N/A
Cigarette Tax ($0.75/pack)​$11.9 M​$8.6 M​$794 KN/AN/A​$2.5 M
​Other: parking tickets, events, etc.​$1.7 MN/A​$1.5 M​$165 K​N/A​N/A
TOTAL​$119.4 M​$59.6 M​$39.5 M​$12.2 M​$5.5. M​$2.5 M

Contact Information

VB411 March 9, 2018 Episode