Loudoun Chamber Successfully Lobbies Against Meals Tax
Lansdowne, VA - The Loudoun Chamber and other industry leaders successfully advocated on behalf of restaurants and Virginia voters while fighting against meals tax bills in the General Assembly. The Chamber applauds the Virginia Senate Committee on Finance for voting down two bills which would have authorized county governments to institute a meals tax without the consent of local residents, and would have doubled the maximum tax rate allowed.
Eric C. Johnson, Government Relations Manager for the Loudoun Chamber, stated “A meals tax is a regressive tax, hurting working-class and senior citizens the most. And any legislation that would move to bypass the will of the people is concerning. In 2008 a meals tax was proposed in Loudoun County, but the voters rejected it by a margin of more than two to one. Clearly the people do not want it. The Chamber will fight against any proposal that would attempt an end run around the voters in this matter.”
Loudoun Chamber President & CEO Tony Howard said, “A meals tax hike unfairly burdens a single industry – the restaurant industry, as well as its employees and patrons. The Loudoun Chamber opposes legislation that would throw open the door for such a tax increase. The margins in the restaurant industry are thin, and attempts to increase costs on a patron’s check could cripple some restaurants, and prevent others from ever attempting to open.”
The Loudoun Chamber will continue to monitor legislation that could have an adverse impact on business owners in Loudoun County, including our booming restaurant and tourism industry, and communicate its concerns with the Virginia General Assembly. Numerous bills were introduced this year in both the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates to increase the minimum wage, including House Bill 1259 by Delegate Paul Krizek of Alexandria which would exclude any tips received by an employee when determining the amount of wages paid by an employer to its employee under the Virginia Minimum Wage Act.
In 2016, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors proposed a meals tax increase. Fairfax County residents voted the measure down with 53.8% opposed and only 46.1% supporting. The City of Richmond is currently considering a meals tax increase – Mayor Levar Stoney has proposed an increase from 6% to 7.5%.
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