Henrico Wendy’s make changes after charging meals tax incorrectly

Published: Feb. 3, 2015 at 2:47 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 13, 2015 at 4:41 AM EST
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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - There is controversy surrounding the Henrico Meals Tax. Are you checking your receipts? Area restaurants, especially in Short Pump, are being accused of overcharging hungry diners.

"We do everything we can to keep everything top notch," said Julie Silva at JJ's Grill off Staples Mill Road.

JJ's Grill is doing it right. They have upgraded their system to spell out sales tax and meals tax on each receipt.

"There are no mistakes that can be made," said Silva. "It's broken down so the customer doesn't have to have any questions or any confusion about which tax is for what."

The 4 percent meals tax does not apply to drinks purchased by themselves, but restaurants the like Wendy's on Pouncey Tract Road and two other Wendy's on Brook Road were overcharging customers. Customers who only bought a small cup of coffee were paying the sales tax and the meals tax. Wendy's tells NBC12 they have addressed the problem.

We got the following statement from Bob Bertini with Wendy's:

"We are taking this matter seriously. Upon learning of this situation, we immediately contacted our franchisee in Henrico County who operates the three restaurants. According to the franchisee, who took swift action, the registers at the restaurants have all been re-programmed to fully comply with the local meal tax law. Wendy's and its franchisees always strive to do the right thing by our customers and the communities we serve. "

Wendy's is not alone. A Facebook page is even dedicated to calling out area restaurants. The Henrico director of Finance is asking for the public's help.

"If you are charged incorrectly please let the restaurant know and let us know so that we can work with them to correct their system," said finance director Eugene Walter.

He notes the meals tax is expected to generate $18 million a year for Henrico Schools.

"It's worth it in the end," said Julie. "Yes you have to pay a little bit more in the end, but the money is going back to the schools. So I can't complain. I have two kids. So I'd like to see money funneled into the schools."

Walter says the department will likely begin auditing restaurants in the fall.

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