Transient Occupancy Tax

Transient occupancy/lodging or room tax is a tax on rentals of hotels, motels, guest rooms, campgrounds, and other temporary lodging of no more than 30 days. This is a 5% tax that is assessed to the consumer and collected by the business. The business then reports and pays the amounts collected on a monthly basis to the Commissioner of the Revenue's Office.

Collections of $2 Additional Tax of Transient Occupancy

The 2004 Virginia General Assembly passed Bill Number SB 652, which authorizes York County to impose an additional Transient Occupancy Tax of $2 per room per night. This tax does not apply to rooms rented and continuously occupied by the same individual(s) for 30 or more continuous days.

The York County Board of Supervisors adopted Ordinance Number 04-8 to amend the York County Code § 21-93 to impose the $2 per room, per night tax in addition to the current Transient Occupancy Tax effective July 1, 2004. Of the revenues generated, one-half of the revenues generated from each night of occupancy of an overnight guest room is deposited to the Historic Triangle Marketing Fund. This fund is used to market/advertise the Historic Triangle which includes the City of Williamsburg and the counties of James City & York County as a tourist destination. The remaining one-half revenue received by the county is designated to the Tourism Fund.

Transient Occupancy Tax forms are mailed to each hotel, motel, bed and breakfast owners upon filed Business License application.  It is required that a copy is retained by the business and filing is completed online. The Transient Occupancy Taxes, are due to be filed with payment remitted, to the Commissioner of the Revenue on or before the 20th day of the month following the month collected. Online Filing

Third Party Accommodation Intermediary Companies

Third Party Accommodation Intermediary Companies are required to file, collect and remit the local Transient Occupancy Tax, $2 Additional Taxes to York County as well as retail sales and use tax on rooms, lodgings and accommodations as of September 1, 2021, under Virginia and York County Code.

Noted Information: 

  • Hotels use accommodations intermediaries to advertise and sell blocks of rooms on these .com platforms, examples would be Expedia, Hotels.com, HomeAway, etc. 
  • Hotels are using these platforms two ways:
    • Advertising rooms for sale on the accommodations intermediary’s website. 
      • When a room is booked under this agreement the sale of the room goes directly to the accommodations provider (Hotel) and the accommodations provider pays the accommodations intermediary a commission on the sale of the room.  In this situation the hotel would be responsible for reporting and paying the lodging tax revenue.
    • Selling blocks of rooms to accommodations intermediaries at a discounted room rate for re-sale.
      • In these situations, the accommodations provider (Hotel) would report and pay on the amount they sold the room to the accommodation intermediary, and the accommodation intermediary would register with our office and pay lodging taxes on the amount they sold the room for above the discounted room rate.

Short-Term Rental of Real Estate

If you are planning to rent a home that you own or a room out of the home, located in York County, short-term, less than 90 days to guests, you may be required to obtain a Special Use Permit as well as a business license before beginning this activity. It will also be required, if you rent the home or a room in your home for less than 90 days to guests, that you collect Sales & Use Tax from your guest.

Also, if you plan to rent a home or a room out of your home for less than 30 days to guests, you will be required to collect and file for the Transient Occupancy Tax and the Additional $2 Transient Occupancy Tax (Room Tax) from your guest.

In order to obtain information on how to apply for a Special Use Permit, contact York County Planning at (757)890-3404 or visit their webpage.

Once your Special Use Permit has been approved by the York County Board of Supervisors, you can apply for your Business License. It will also be necessary for you to complete a Consumer Tax Registration Form (PDF).

The following taxes will need to be collected from your guest and submitted on a monthly basis:

Tax Type: Amount: Submitted to:
Sales & Use Tax 7% of nightly charge Virginia Department of Taxation
Transient Occupancy Tax 5% of nightly charge Commissioner of the Revenue
$2 Room Tax $2 charge per guest room per night Commissioner of the Revenue
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