Meals Tax loses sizzle, done in House

Posted at 5:48 PM, Feb 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-14 00:14:23-05

There will be no new meals tax in Chesterfield and Henrico County, at least not this year.

A bill that would have given those counties the authority to charge restaurant patrons a little extra died in a House subcommittee today.

In January, the Senate Finance Committee narrowly approved legislation that would allow both counties to impose a meals tax up to four percent without a voter referendum.

However, before it could be implemented, a tax levy would have required unanimous support from the Board of Supervisors of both counties.

Right now, the city of Richmond is the only part of the metro area that charges a meals tax on restaurant food. The extra six percent charge brings the total tax of a meal to 11 percent in the city.

City restaurant owners say the tax hurts their business, but some lawmakers say meals taxes help balance budgets.

Tammy Hawley, press secretary for Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones, said in 2011, that the meals tax is 5.7 percent of general fund taxes, or $24.3 million a year