Philly Vegan announces resolution over meals tax issues with city of Richmond

Posted at 6:29 AM, May 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-01 06:29:34-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- After almost four months of voicing their frustration regarding a meals tax issue, the Co-owners of Philly Vegan said they've finally reached a resolution with Richmond Cities Finance Department. The issue was an almost $40,000 bill in unpaid meals tax and late fees Samuel Veney, co-owner of the restaurant said he had spent the last two years trying to resolve.

"We just tried to work it out in the best way possible to avoid as much as controversy so we could focus on our business but they didn't want us to focus on our business, so we said ok look this is what we’re going to have to do, we’re going to have to speak out about it," he said.

In January Veney told CBS 6 he was being penalized for a mistake the city admitted to making after he said someone in the city's office told him his business didn’t have to pay the meals tax because they were a takeout only restaurant.

Finally, after several meetings and numerous public calls for change Veney said they've reached a settlement with the city. "We’ve come to a resolution between our lawyers, the city lawyer and their department," Veney shared.

He said he’s unable to speak on the specifics of the deal but shared that Philly Vegan was not willing to pay for meals taxes they never collected. "A piece of it is behind us but the amount of stuff that I lost, my family lost, my children lost...our lawyers were not cheap, these fees, this time we missed from work this energy, these employees we had to lay off and put in this physical work ourself, that cost and we don't have that back," Veney said.

While he appreciates the city taking some accountability for their mistake with his business, he feels there's much more that needs to be done as it's an issue that is still impacting lots of other businesses.

"We need to have the city start taking more accountability for the mistakes they're making that way we can thrive as business, that way we can thrive as a community and as a city," he said.

More than anything, Veney expressed he’s grateful for the community’s support as they work to grow and get back on their feet.

"The most important part of community is unity and we’re showing that when you unify and you let your voices be heard then it can be very powerful," he said.

I reached out to Richmond Cities Finance Department Tuesday evening for any comment they may have regarding the Philly Vegan resolution and have not yet heard back.

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