Two Campbell County residents have proposed raising taxes on prepared food and beverage through an additional meals tax, according to a report from local ABC affiliate WSET. The tax hike would add an additional 4 percent tax to all prepared food and beverage sold outside the towns of Altavista and Brookneal, on top of the existing 5.3 percent sales tax, for a new combined tax rate of 9.3 percent, representing a 75 percent increase over current levels.

Under Virginia law, the levy would apply to all prepared food and beverage sold within the county. This includes meals in restaurants, carry-out, fast food, as well as prepared food in grocery stores and delicatessens.

It also includes some food sold in fundraisers at churches, benevolent clubs, as well as charitable, educational, and fraternal organizations. The organizers, Meagan Bullington and Michael Nagy, estimate the tax increase would raise $2 million annually.

The proposed tax hike requires approval in a ballot referendum. However, the question will not appear on the ballot if the organizers fail to collect the roughly 3800 petition signatures, or 10 percent of registered voters, required under Virginia law.

Campbell County last attempted to impose a meals tax in 2012. That referendum failed, with 61.1 percent of voters opposed. Read more from…

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