Tourism continues to be a major driver for increased revenues for Northampton County. Projected budget revenues for the fiscal year 2021 budget should increase to more than $25,961,786, up 2.1% from last year, and 16.67% since 2016–revenues from state and federal are also projected to increase in the next fiscal year.
According to County Finance Director John Chandler, the County re-structured its investments and then interest rates fell from 2.5% to 1.7%, causing a net decrease in revenue from $1.7 million to $1.4 million.
Tourism remains one of the County’s primary industries due to its location between the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. According to the Virginia Tourism Corporation, 2017 figures indicate that travel expenditures on the Eastern Shore exceeded $285.5 million, an average of $782,284 per day, a 28% increase in visitor spending from 2011 to 2017. Tourism jobs increased 18% from 2011 to 2017 with a corresponding 35% in tourism payroll.
Major tourism spots on the Eastern Shore of Virginia include the Cape Charles Beachfront, Assateague Island National Seashore, the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Kiptopeke State Park, the Eastern Shore National Wildlife Refuge and the NASA/Wallops Island Visitor Center.
Budgeted Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) from Motels, Hotels, campground and other short-term accommodations for last year’s budget show a $75,000 increase from the FY19 budget.
Since FY2010, the TOT budgeted amount has increased by 100.00%. Food and Beverage Taxes for the FY20 budget show a level funding from the FY19 budget.