VIRGINIA

Fairfax County meal tax proposed

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Dining out in Fairfax County could soon cost you more.

Fairfax County Supervisors are floating the idea of up to a four percent meal tax, to be levied on restaurants, bars, and convenience stores - if enough of their business is prepared food - and even salad bars at grocery stores.

Add that to the five percent Virginia sales tax and you could wind up paying nine percent tax on meals.

The Board has the authority to impose a meals tax by referendum. The county says it could take in an extra $80-100 million per year if voters approve the meal tax.

About half the money raised by the new tax would be used to lower real estate taxes, officials say. The rest would be committed to certain projects, like transportation.

The Board of Supervisors will discuss the new tax at their next meeting on May 14.

At Four Sisters Restaurant in Merrifield's Mosaic District, the prospect of a meal tax isn't helping digestion much.

“I don't think it's a good idea. we pay for the prices of meals alone," says Chip Sovek, a customer.

Fairfax County Supervisors are floating the idea of up to a four percent meal tax, to be levied on restaurants, bars, and convenience stores - if enough of their business is prepared food - and even salad bars at grocery stores.

“It's absolutely gonna hurt business, especially, you know around here everybody has a budget,” says Le Lai, owner of Four Sisters.

Supporters of the new tax say it would take some of the tax burden off property owners, but many are skeptical.

“It would definitely impact how much I eat out during the day or how much I go out in general," one customer says.

Taylor Gourmet just opened three months ago. General manager Joshua Novak is trying to build up the business.

“Anything that might hinder that is very concerning, of course. but at the same time, if it's for a good cause, it is what it is,” Novak says.

Others said it would be a small price to pay if the money were well spent::

“If it would go to services for the community, I'm for that, actually,” says Mia Gallina, a customer.

 

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