Virginia Senate endorses Fluvanna coffeemaker’s bill

Press release

The Virginia State Senate has  passed House Bill 342 patroned by Delegate Rob Bell, R-Albemarle, to help small vendors at farmers markets.

The bill would create an exemption for vendors from county meals taxes where the sellers’ annual income does not exceed $2,500. Vendors with an income of $2,500 or less are already exempt from the state sales tax. HB 342 would expand the exemption to also cover prepared foods.

“This was brought to me by Cat Gardner, a Fluvanna resident who sells coffee at local farmers markets as Two Labs Coffee,” Bell said.

Gardner testified in Senate committee that her taxes often totaled only two or three dollars, but the paperwork and recordkeeping were burdensome for such a small business. Virginia Farm Bureau also testified that the bill would help small farmers.

“I am happy to support small vendors who want to be able to sell their products at farmers markets. I think we should try to reduce their costs where we can,” said Bell. “This bill would give vendors of prepared foods the same tax exemption as vendors who sell farm products.”

HB 342 passed the House of Delegates unanimously 99-0 and the State Senate 38-2.  It will now be sent to Gov. Ralph Northam for consideration.

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