Forum To Chew on Meals Tax

Forum To Chew on Meals Tax

Moderated discussion panel on levying a meal tax in Fairfax County will feature panelists on both sides of the issue. The panel will also take written questions from the audience. The League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area (LWVFA) will sponsor a Meals Tax Forum at the auditorium of Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church, on Sept. 29 at 7 p.m.

Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) and Jon Norton from Great American Restaurants will be panelists in opposition to the meals tax. School Board member Pat Hynes and Phil Niedzielski-Eichner are the panelists speaking in favor of the meals tax.

Questions may also be submitted in advance by writing to

“Our League’s mission is to educate voters on critical issues in our county, such as the Meals Tax, and to get out the vote,” says Wendy Fox-Grage, the League co-president. During this year’s election season, LWVFA is sponsoring many voter drives throughout the county to register voters and inform them about what’s on the ballot. On the ballot, Fairfax County voters will choose whether to levy a meals’ tax. State law authorizes counties, cities, and towns to levy a tax on prepared food and beverages, commonly called a “meals tax,” subject to certain restrictions. Most counties, including Fairfax County, may levy a meals tax only if the voters approve the tax by referendum.

If approved, the revenues generated will be dedicated to the following purposes:

  • 70 percent of the net revenues to Fairfax County Public Schools.

  • 30 percent of the net revenues to County services, capital improvements and property tax relief.

What is a Meals Tax? A meals tax is a tax on all ready-to-eat prepared food and beverages at restaurants, as well as grocery stores, convenience stores and delicatessens. It would not apply to groceries nor to vending machines. It does, however, include ready-to-eat foods, such as food from the deli counter or salad bar at a supermarket/grocery store. It does include alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages served with a meal. It does apply to prepared foods served at food trucks.

For more about what’s on the ballot, visit