Bulova: Meals tax not being discussed in Fairfax
Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova (D) made a point Monday to squelch any speculation that the Washington area's most populous jurisdiction is considering a meals tax to offset a looming $316 million shortfall and refill cash-strapped county coffers.
Bulova said Fairfax officials are not discussing a meals tax, a proposal that failed in a voter referendum in 1992. During a bimonthly Board of Supervisors meeting Monday, she bluntly said the idea has been pushed by Supervisor Gerald W. Hyland (D-Mount Vernon) but that, so far, the idea has been all talk.
"I know it's something Supervisor Hyland wants," Bulova said. "But no one has made a motion and it's not being discussed. It's not something this board is entertaining." (As Bulova spoke, Hyland rolled his eyes.)
Hyland has said Bulova's support is crucial for a meals tax voter referendum to get off the ground. The Post's Fredrick Kunkle reported last month that four supervisors expressed "tentative backing for the idea": Penelope A. Gross (D-Mason), Catherine M. Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill), Jeff C. McKay (D-Lee) and Linda Q. Smyth (D-Providence).
Meals taxes are used by Alexandria, Falls Church, Vienna and Fairfax City and Arlington County is one of five Virginia counties with the authority to impose the tax without a voter referendum.
In Fairfax City, for example, a 4 percent tax is imposed on "each and every meal" sold from a restaurant. Virginia's Revenue Commissioner administers the tax.
But such taxes are typically unpopular with voters and passage would likely require a heavy lobbying campaign to persuade increasingly money-conscious residents.
December 7, 2009; 11:51 AM ET
Categories: Derek Kravitz , Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
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