Restaurants get reprieve on Fairfax County meals tax

It looks like the Fairfax County meals tax — which officials estimated could raise an additional $90 million in revenue annually for the county — is facing the same fate as it did the last time around, only this time without a public referendum.

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova doesn’t expect the 4 percent meals tax proposal to come before voters until at least after the 2016 election, The Washington Post reported.

Bulova went on to say that if the board had to consider a motion to put the meals tax on the ballot at this time, she would vote no.

The last time Fairfax tried to add a meals tax was in 1992, when it was voted down in a referendum. The Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce and Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington lobbied heavily against the tax this year.

The proposed tax seemed to be in jeopardy last week after a task force charged with looking at the issue reported its findings: essentially an equal list of pros and cons with no concrete recommendation to put the meals tax on the ballot.

Many other Northern Virginia jurisdictions — Falls Church, Arlington, Herndon and Vienna — charge a 4 percent meals tax; combined with Virginia’s 6 percent sales tax, that works out to 10 percent. D.C. charges a 10 percent meals tax, but does not add on any sales tax. Montgomery and Prince George’s counties do not charge a separate meals tax.

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.

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