Meals Tax Referendum Task Force Established

April 22, 2014

News Highlights

  • Task force to be led by Kate Hanley and Tom Davis, two former chairmen of the Board of Supervisors.
  • Meals tax can only be approved by voter referendum.
  • If suggested and approved, $88 million in revenue could be generated.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova today established a meals tax referendum task force to study the possibility of this additional source of revenue.

The task force will be chaired by two former chairmen of the Board of Supervisors: Kate Hanley and Tom Davis. Hanley and Davis will lead a communitywide task force to explore the issues and to deliver a report by June 17.

The mission of the task force will be to recommend to the Board of Supervisors:

  1. Whether or not to proceed with a referendum for a meals tax;
  2. If it is the recommendation of the group to do so, the task force should recommend the timing (what year?) for the question to be put to voters;
  3. And the task force should return with a recommendation for how revenue from a meals tax should be used.

In the Commonwealth of Virginia towns and cities are permitted to have a meals tax subject to an affirmative vote by the governing body. In Northern Virginia all of the cities and towns around and within Fairfax County have adopted a meals tax.

Counties, however, may establish a meals tax only if a referendum is approved by the voters.

If adopted at the same approximate rate as cities and towns in Northern Virginia, the rate would be 4 percent of the cost of a restaurant meal and would result in revenue of approximately $88 million.

Read more details about the task force, including proposed representation (PDF).

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