Voters reject meals tax

Voters reject meals tax

By Christina Dimeo, editor

Fluvanna County voters gave the thumbs-down to the meals tax referendum.

Residents rejected the tax Tuesday (Nov. 6) by a vote of 70.0 percent (8,329 votes) to 29.0 percent (3,404 votes).

The ordinance would have instituted a 4 percent tax on food and drink sold “for immediate human consumption” within Fluvanna County. About 21 Fluvanna businesses would have been affected, according to county staff estimates.

The tax may have yielded between $300,000 and $600,000 each year. The money would have gone into the Board of Supervisors’ general fund to be spent on education, social welfare and public safety.

Supervisors have long discussed leveraging other forms of taxation in an attempt to reduce the county’s reliance on real estate taxes to finance spending.

Of the 95 Virginia counties, 47 had a meals tax as of the day before the election. Those counties include Louisa, Orange, Albemarle, Greene, Nelson and Madison. Cities and towns with meals taxes include Scottsville, Charlottesville, Louisa, Mineral, Waynesboro, Staunton, Gordonsville, Madison, Culpeper, Orange, Farmville and Richmond.

Three years must elapse before supervisors are permitted to place a meals tax referendum on the ballot again.

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