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County Board to Consider Lower Restaurant Fees

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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