Henrico leaders answer meals tax questions

Posted at 12:34 AM, Sep 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-19 00:34:22-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- In two months, people in Henrico will vote on a proposed meals tax.

County and school leaders answered questions about why they need the extra money during a Thursday night information session at Deep Run High School.

The county manager said that if the referendum is voted down, officials ill consider raising the real estate tax. That’s something that hasn`t been done in 35 years.

However, a restaurant owner said many business owners feel picked on.

“What scares me is the public being a little bit misinformed, not by you, but in general about what the impact will be on small business,” said Tazza Kitchen’s John Haggai. “What the impact will be on a restaurateur who employs 100 people.”

Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas said voters have two choices.

“One is a four-cent meals tax. The other is a six-cent real estate tax rate. Both of those would generate $18 million,” said Vithoulkas.

If passed, the large majority of the tax raised will go to schools, but restaurant owners could apply for a three-percent rebate on having to collect it.