Henrico's 4% meals tax goes into effect Sunday - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Henrico's 4% meals tax goes into effect Sunday

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

In Henrico County, it's going to cost more when you go out to eat, starting this weekend. The four-percent meals tax that had both sides debating for months goes into effect on Sunday.

Back in November, Joey's Hot Dogs owner Joey Mirabile fought hard against the tax. Now he's consulting with his accountant to keep track of the revenue. Hundreds of other business owners are doing the same.

"The biggest thing is that people are going to complain. And in some cases, the same people that voted for it," said Mirabile.

The revenue is expected to go to Henrico schools.

"Over half of our 70 or 70 plus schools are over 50 years old," said Eugene Walter, Henrico's director of finance. "We have tried to tax the least of what we can tax in the state, so that our citizens pay the least in tax."

County leaders say there will be a learning curve.

"If a consumer is overtaxed they need to ask the restaurant at that point in time to issue a refund," said Walter.

Specific items like desserts, snack foods and drinks alone won't see this up charge. But if those items are purchased with a meal, Henrico consumers can expect to see that extra four percent on the bill. At the grocery store, hot foods, made-to-order sandwiches and even individual pieces of chicken are subject to the tax. But groceries and items sold by the pound are not.

Caterers are also subject to the tax, but if you paid your bill before June 1, you do not have to pay the meals tax.

The county has listed what can and cannot be taxed on its website. They've also appointed two people to answer your questions. 

The tax revenue will be collected by the county once a month.  The county say 3% of the tax revenue will go back to the business for expenses.  So if a business makes $100 is tax revenue, $3 goes back to the business.

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