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Afternoon Poll: Should Fairfax County Have a Meals Tax?

by Karen Goff — April 28, 2014 at 4:35 pm 17 Comments

PassionFish Reston/Credit: Passionfood HospitalityWould you pay more for your dinner if it means more money for county services and schools?

Last week, Fairfax County Supervisor Sharon Bulova established a task force to examine whether a county meals tax could be a reliable source of revenue. A meals tax, at about 4 percent, could provide $88 million annually, Bulova said.

A meals tax would go through without a voter referendum. The county last tried that in 1992. The question failed to advance.

The task force will be led by former Board of Supervisors chairs Tom Davis and Kate Hanley, who will report back to Bulova by June 17. It will be made up of members of two dozen county organizations, including Republican and Democratic parties, the county Chamber of Commerce, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, Visit Fairfax, the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance and the Fairfax Education Association.

The task force will be asked not only to recommend, or reject, a meals tax referendum, but also to suggest what year the question should be asked and how the resulting revenues should be used.

 

Photo: PassionFish at Reston Town Center/Credit: File photo

  • commuterbooks

    It seems like a good idea in theory, but I doubt it can actually take in that much revenue when this is the sort of tax that people can easily avoid by just eating out less, or eating out in neighboring jurisdictions that don’t have the tax. It could have some unintended consequences, especially for waiters, who already make less than minimum wage.

    • lilswamp

      Most other Northern Virginia localities have the meals tax — Vienna, Herndon, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Alexandria, and Arlington. I like the idea that commuters and tourists pay the tax too.

  • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

    Only scanned the article, but at least 3 glaring errors. Task force, not tax force. A meals tax would go through, not no through. Bad. The county needs, not the county need. Sophmoric. Please start reading your own stuff before putting it out there.

    • Karen Goff

      Laura, you are fantastic copy editor and I appreciate the second set of eyes. The corrections have been made. The definition of Sophomoric is this: “having or showing a lack of emotional maturity.” I would say I am “busy” rather than “emotionally immature.” Typos are simple, fixable errors and not a character flaw. Now please stop name calling.

      • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

        Karen,
        Sophomoric also means intellectually pretentious, but immature. You may be busy, but when you claim to be a professional journalist, you should be taking the time to proof read your articles. I enjoy reading almost anything that is well written, and would think that you would want to do your best. But you clearly would rather get defensive and accuse one of your few readers of name calling and bullying. Grow up.

        • Kate Peterson

          Wow- Laura, you actually sound exactly like a bully. I think for a one man shop the RestonNow does a pretty good job of covering the news and presenting it in a readable fashion. Maybe you should consider another site for your daily reading.

      • commuterbooks

        Karen, you’ve reached a new level of internet success. Looks like RestonNow has an official troll! Welcome to the big leagues.

    • vdiv

      Go start your own site if you so dislike this one. If you are lucky enough maybe you’ll get a clown or two to mock your work every chance they get. Sophomoric? Seriously?!

      • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

        Yes, seriously. I do not want to start my own site. But if I did, and if I claimed to be a professional journalist, I would proof read my work. I would care about spelling the names of the people I wrote about correctly. I would put forth my best effort.

        • Paul

          Maybe you can hep this discussion by actually commenting on the subject matter rather than focusing on spelling and punctuation. Do you have anything to offer to the topic?

          • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

            I am against raising taxes.

          • Kate Peterson

            Not exactly surprising given the avatar.

          • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

            Kate,

            Do you support the tax? I’m just curious.

          • Kate Peterson

            It would depend on the results of the study. I don’t reject it out of hand, I’d like more information.

          • Paul

            You didn’t correct my misspelling…hep instead of help. It’s funny, you made a Twitter comment with the same misspelling yesterday. It’s okay for you to make mistakes but not others…

          • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

            Paul,

            I do not claim to be a professional journalist. Neither do you, I presume. Therefore, we get a pass on typos. But the professional writer/editor of the site should proof read her articles. Enough said.

  • Karen Goff

    Laura, I said thank you for your help. Pretty much anything I say, you accuse me of getting defensive, so I am going to end our conversation here. I am going to triple check everything today, so my tens of thousands of readers will be pleased with the clean copy. Now I must get busy with work, so goodbye. Have a nice day. Go sell a house.

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