2013-11-20 / Opinions


Two weeks after the election, I am still stupefied by the shortsightedness (or maybe it’s a lack of basic math skills) of the Chesterfield County voters in defeating a minimal 2 percent meals tax.

First, let’s do the math: if a family of four gets carryout from McDonald’s, and the bill comes to $30, they would have to pay a whopping 60 cents extra for the meals tax. If a couple splurges at a fine dining restaurant and the tab comes to $100, they would be assessed an extra $2. If they can’t afford that added amount, they probably shouldn’t be eating at a fine dining restaurant to begin with.

Now, let’s look at the wider ramifications for Chesterfield County property owners. As Midlothian Supervisor Dan Gecker said after the election, without a meals tax, there “will be either an increase in the real estate rate, a decrease in service levels or a combination.” So,while a 2 percent meals tax could be spread out among property owners, renters, tourists and other nonresidents, now property owners alone will bear the brunt of paying increased taxes to fund the bond initiatives.

I believe this is a textbook definition of shooting yourself in the foot.

Virginia W. Manuel


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