Is a New ‘Meals Tax’ Coming to Virginia?

Policymakers in a prominent Virginia county are looking for new ways to raise revenue.

rolls of dollar bills on a dinner plate
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Some Virginia officials are exploring a potential new revenue stream by considering a “meals tax.” If approved, the tax would be levied on prepared foods and beverages sold in convenience stores, grocery stores, and restaurants.

Fairfax County supervisors Dalia Palchik, Jeff McKay, and Kathy Smith are leading this initiative. They argue that the revenue generated from the meals tax could support local schools, which they say have been underfunded by the Commonwealth. The tax could also reduce the county's reliance on real estate taxes.

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Kelley R. Taylor
Senior Tax Editor,

As the senior tax editor at, Kelley R. Taylor simplifies federal and state tax information, news, and developments to help empower readers. Kelley has over two decades of experience advising on and covering education, law, finance, and tax as a corporate attorney and business journalist.