More About Fairfax County Meals Tax at Thursday Forum

Ted's Bulletin at Reston Town CenterThe League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area is co-sponsoring a forum this week on the proposed Fairfax County meals tax.

The question of a 4-percent tax on meals and other prepared foods will be presented to voters in the general election Nov. 8. The tax would add an additional $100 million annually to county coffers. Seventy percent of it would go to Fairfax County Public Schools.

Surrounding jurisdictions such as Alexandria, Arlington, the District, and the towns of Herndon, Vienna already have meal taxes.

Fairfax County last held a referendum on a meals tax in 1992. It failed.

Proponents say it is a necessary way to diversify revenue without continuing to raise property taxes. Opponents say it will hit lower income people the hardest and it is unfair to the restaurant industry, among other issues.

Here is what you need to know:

The forum is Thursday, Sept. 29, 7 to 9 p.m. at Luther Jackson Middle School Auditorium, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church.

The moderator will be Mary Kimm, editor of the Connection newspapers.

The panelists in opposition to the meals tax will be Springfield Supervisor Pat Herrity (R) and Jon Norton from Great American Restaurants. The panelists in support of the meals tax will be FCPS’ Hunter Mill School Board rep Pat Hynes and Phil Niedzielski-Eichner, management consultant.

The panel will take questions from the audience. Questions may also be submitted in advance by writing to [email protected] or by taking a survey.

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