Fairfax County considers ‘meals tax’

Next time you are headed to a restaurant, keep these tips in mind. (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON — Fairfax County is examining a potential tax that would raise bills for customers who order food at restaurants.

The “meals tax” would be roughly 4 percent of the cost of a meal, and supporters say it would generate nearly $90 million annually for schools, public safety, parks and libraries.

Many jurisdictions around the area already have a meals tax, including Alexandria and Arlington County.

But the measure is controversial.

Opponents say residents in Fairfax County already face a high cost of living, and the tax could hamper consumer spending.

The county is using a task force to take a closer look at the issue.

In order for the tax to become law, it would need voter approval through a referendum. A similar measure failed in a referendum back in 1992.

The meals tax task force is expected to present its findings to the county Board of Supervisors on Thursday, June 17.

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