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Meal Tax Passes – effective July 1st

From CBS 6:

Photo by Laura French

RICHMOND, Va. — Richmond City Council voted Monday night to raise the city meal tax in order to fund the renovation and replacement of the city’s crumbling school facilities.

The proposal, introduced by Mayor Levar Stoney, will bump the meals tax at Richmond restaurants from 6 to 7.5-percent, effective July 1, 2018.

The total tax, combined with sales tax, would go from 11.3 to 12.8-percent. It would be the difference of tax bringing a $60 check to $67.68 versus $66.78 – or 90 cents difference.

The proposal passed with a 7-2 vote. Councilwomen Kim Gray and Kristen Larson voted “no.” Larson had previously said that she wanted to defer voting for at least two weeks. During that time, she wanted council to consider adding a sunset clause. That would allow the increase to expire after five years.

After the increase was approved Monday night, Mayor Stoney released a statement that read:

“Tonight, the City of Richmond sent a strong message to its students that it is no longer willing to kick the can down the road when it comes to providing them with modern, safe and healthy environments in which to learn. This is just the first big step in what will be many more steps to improve our schools for our children, and for the generations of Richmond Public School students to come. After decades of telling them to wait, tonight we put them first. We are moving full-steam ahead with our plan to generate $150 million in new school construction and renovation of facilities that have been neglected for far too long.

This was not an easy decision, and it does not solve all of our schools’ challenges, but it was important that we get started now. I’d like to thank the members of City Council tonight for understanding the urgency and importance of our needs and having the courage to take action. And I would like to thank the Richmond School Board and Superintendent Jason Kamras for their advocacy and leadership for the children under their care. Through our Education Compact, we will continue to work together to tackle the challenges that lie ahead and forge solutions that will not only benefit our students but also make our city stronger.

To the restauranteurs who supported this proposal and those who had reservations about it, you are part of what makes Richmond a great place to live, work and play. I will continue to be a champion for you, and I look forward to finding ways that we can make it easier for you to do business and continue to thrive.

The large number and wide range of individuals and organizations who have supported this initiative – from education advocates to the real estate and business community to RPS teachers, parents and students – reinforce the broad consensus that we must move forward. Our kids can’t wait, and you heard their voices.

Our children face a brighter future. Now let’s make it happen.”

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Liz
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Liz

There were people on both sides on this issue and I was one who could see both sides but now that it’s done, I suggest we all plan to patronize one of our wonderful restaurants on July 1 to show our support! I want our restaurant business to continue to thrive and they should not be made to suffer because of this decision.

bill
Guest
bill

As seen on TV. Congratulations to Stony, Newbil etc. proving they are the smartest politicians in the room by portraying supporters of the referendum to fix schools as racists and child abusers in order to pass a new regressive food tax.

Jake
Guest
Jake

What message did Mayor Stony send to restaurant owners and working class wait staff by increasing the cost of their meals w/o any benefit to them? 12.8% tax on a meal is obscene, and this is guaranteed to hurt the small businesses in our city. You know what would be a stronger message to students? Finding $9 million in wasted money from the budget, and allocating that to schools without raising taxes a dime.

crd
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crd

@2 thanks, and I agree with you that it’s regressive but Stoney was quoted in Style as saying it’s not regressive because poor people can choose not to eat out. I am so ticked off about this that I’m ready to work for whoever is running for mayor when Stoney’s term runs out.

@3 yes I agree it’s obscene. It’s nearly fifteen percent, add another fifteen percent for tip (minimum) and you’ve increased your bill by thirty percent. Ridiculous.

Elaine Odell
Guest
Elaine Odell

Note that RVA does not tax tobacco, but choses to tax food, instead. A poor choice.

lanny
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lanny

#2 – Bullying is endemic in our society right now; and it’s important to keep in mind that people who mock or disparagingly label other people because they, or their ideas, are different are bullies…plain and simple and regardless of the venue, including Richmond’s city hall. Acknowledging that fact, recognizing that your mayor or your council person or your neighbor or your co-worker is a bully might not make the bullying easier to bear; but it’s important to acknowledge. Lead by the mayor, those who called for this recent tax increase repeatedly claimed that the city’s children, the city’s students,… Read more »

ray
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ray

We all know why they are scared to tax tobacco.

Altria/Phillip Morris will pitch a fit. Their HQ, manufacturing facility, and research center are all here, they pay a lot of taxes, and employ a lot of local people. Fact is, money talks.

The restaurant people just don’t have their shit together They’re not organized and they get beat with increased meals taxes time and time again. When will they ever learn?

The U.....nion Hill
Guest
The U.....nion Hill

Again, Stoney is career politician that has never held a real job that entitles budgeting or actual fiscal prudence.

I would like to see restaurants that were targets of his rhetoric refuse him service.

SA Chaplin
Guest
SA Chaplin

Here’s a little thing that Richmond restaurants can do (based on Section 58.1-3840 of the Code of Virginia): Pre-print on every tab: The following are our mandatory gratuities. Please choose: __We will add a gratuity of 20% for our waitstaff. Therefore, 20% of you bill will not be subject to the City of Richmond meals tax. __We will add a gratuity of 18% for our waitstaff. Therefore, 18% of you bill will not be subject to the City of Richmond meals tax. __We will add a gratuity of 15% for our waitstaff. Therefore, 15% of you bill will not be… Read more »

Sarah
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Sarah

@4 – Sorry to disagree with how your comment was stated, but without the context of other taxes levied and the current resulting tax burden, the comment comes across as misleading. This isn’t a great medium for formatting, but as an example, take a $20 dinner: Prior to July 1 After July 1 Initial Bill $20.00 $20.00 State Sales Tax 0.043 0.043 Local Sales Tax 0.01 0.01 Richmond Meals Tax 0.06 0.075 Total Tax (%) 0.113 0.128 Tax ($), Factored by Initial Bill $2.26 $2.56 Additional Tax $- $0.30 Initial Bill + Taxes $22.26 $22.56 Tip (15%) $3.34 $3.38 Total… Read more »

TigerLilly
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TigerLilly

Death&Taxes