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County Board to Consider Lower Restaurant Fees

by ARLnow.com — July 6, 2011 at 1:09 pm 1,029 14 Comments

On Saturday the County Board will vote on a measure that would dramatically reduce the license fees paid by restaurants and food trucks.

In September, the Board voted to hike the license fee from $100 to $285, in response to a mandate from the Virginia Department of Health. Earlier this year, state authorities reversed themselves and decided to slash the statewide fee — which is administered by localities — to just $40. The Board must now approve the change for Arlington.

The $40 fee will apply to license applications and renewals for both restaurants and mobile food vendors. In addition to the license fee change, the cost of reviewing plans for new or remodeled food establishments will drop from $200 to $40 if approved by the Board, as expected.

County staff is recommending that the fees be modified “on an emergency basis” so that the change can take effect immediately.

Arlington’s health department is responsible for licensing and inspecting restaurants in the county. The department is funded cooperatively by the state, which sets the fees for licensing and other services.

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  • Thes

    Wow, that’s great.

  • KalashniKEV

    That’s WTF I’m talking about.

  • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

    the business-type that is always on the tax delinquent list is a restaurant. so why are we cutting them a break when they are already stealing from customers?

    here is how the County wastes time and money. a $40 fee can’t even recover the time I spent writing this brilliant entry — much less the time and effort of collecting the fee, processing the fee and crediting the fee to the restaurant. And a fee that goes from $285 to $100 is also a waste of time and energy.

    • PhilL

      That’s because it is a list of restaurant tax delinquents. Every business on that list is a restaurant.

      Your overall point about cutting them a break still has some validity though.

    • KalashniKEV

      The thievery lies in the tax itself.

      • Josh S

        Just wondering where in human history there exists a successful state that did not tax residents/citizens?

        If none such exists, then what is the logic/reason for calling a tax “thievery?”

        • charlie

          the thievery is that these restaurants are collecting a tax from the consumers and then NOT paying the County the tax but rather using it to pay their bills.
          That is the theft.

          • Josh S

            I’m guessing that is not what Kev would say…..

    • Aaron

      How is $40 unable to recover the time you spent writing that brilliant essay of yours? You appear to have been willing to do it for free. Was it supposed to be on spec or something? Please post an address so that we know where to send our collective penny for your next thought.

      • madisonmanor

        Shouldn’t it be $40 plus a 4.5% “prepared thought tax”? Needs to be across the board, though – we want to make sure the brick-and-mortar thoughts are taxed the same as the street vendor thoughts.

      • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

        here is my address ….

        The point is — what does a $40 fee cover? I doubt the county can collect and process a fee for less than $40 — much less cover what ever “fee” the fee covered.

        • KalashniKEV

          I can create a website that collects and “processes” (?) fees for a lot less…

        • FFX CO

          There are many fees and licenses to get before you sell food.
          You got the food vendor license, business license, ABC license, street vendor permit (Carts), zoning permits, sign permits, and probably others. I think the $40 only applies to the food vendor license.

  • Maureen

    Changing this fee to $40 is a great. So many restaurants pay taxes appropriately. When outdoor events and festivals are held, each restaurant has to pay a sizeable amount just to enter the event and unlike other counties, also have to pay for EACH event, rather than one yearly fee. Events like Taste of Arlington and Clarendon Day are community activities that do not bring a lot of money to the businesses, but are great for the community. Tax Blues Night ended partly due to this fee.

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