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Posted on: June 5, 2020

Increase in Meals Tax Stabilizes Budget Shortfalls for the Upcoming Fiscal Year

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Stafford’s Board of Supervisors approved an increase in the meals tax rate this week at their Board of Supervisors meeting from four to five percent. The increase was needed to provide sufficient revenues to meet the Board’s priorities for the community in the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget. The move comes as a result in a change to state law by the Virginia General Assembly during this year’s session.

“Reducing the real estate tax to $0.97 came with several funding challenges,” said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Meg Bohmke. “The Coronavirus has had a definite impact on our local economy. The increase of the meals tax, which is a user tax, will help offset some of those shortfalls.”

In 1989, Stafford County Stafford voters approved a referendum levying a 4% tax on meals. The General Assembly passed legislation this year granting counties the same taxing authority as cities. The new legislation allows counties to increase the tax rate on meals by local ordinance effective July 1, 2020. It applies to meals taxes, hotel taxes and more. The goal of the legislation was to equalize taxing authority between cities and towns.

The new tax goes into effect in Stafford County on January 1, 2021.

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