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Hearing on meals tax law is Tuesday

by Larry Chowning

The Middlesex County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on a meals tax ordinance at 7 p.m. Tuesday, December 3, during its regular monthly meeting at the historic courthouse in Saluda.

The board is considering a 4% meals tax after county voters approved a November 5 referendum to establish a meals tax in Middlesex County.

The proposed ordinance states there will be a tax on food or drink at “any place where food is prepared for service to the public whether on or off premises; anywhere food is served to the public; and any place or operation which prepares or stores food for distribution to persons of the same business operation or a related business operation for service to the public.”

This will include dining rooms, grills, coffee shops, cafeterias, cafes, snack bars, lunch counters, lunchrooms, short order places, taverns, confectioneries, bakeries, eating houses, eateries, drug stores, catering services, lunch wagons or trucks, pushcarts or other mobile facilities selling food, and dining facilities in a public or private club, resort, bar or lounge, restaurant, convenience store, theatre, and ice cream/yogurt shops.

Supervisors voted earlier to use the majority of revenue generated by the meals tax for emergency services, including fire and rescue services, and capital improvements started after June 30, 2014 for the county and schools.

The proposed 4% meals tax will add 40 cents to every $10 meal that is served, and 80 cents to a $20 meal.

posted 11.26.2013

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