Virginia Beach restaurants react to temporary meal tax elimination starting Friday


VIRGINIA BEACH, V.a (WAVY) — If you’re thinking about ordering out Friday in Virginia Beach, you’ll notice it will cost you a little less.

For example, if your normal total on the bill with tax is $10, it’s now going to cost you $9.45. That’s the 5.5 percent meal tax staying in your pocket.

City council voted to suspend the tax for May and June. The goal is to get more people to support local restaurants that have been hit hard by the coronavirus.

RELATED: COVID-19 relief: VB council temporarily eliminates meals tax, suspends late fees for real estate and personal property taxes

10 On Your Side spoke with the owner of The Atlantic, a restaurant at the Oceanfront. He said he’s certain this will bring more customers in.

“We are excited to see new people come into the restaurant and some older people or regular clientele that have been going out but spending a little bit less money, now they can spend more money because they’re getting a discount,” said Vincent Amato, the General Manager of The Atlantic on Pacific.

RELATED: Help the Foodbank by ordering takeout this week. Here’s how.

Not every business owner in Virginia Beach feels the same way.

Adrian Colaprete, the owner of Bay Local Eatery on Shore Drive says he’s thankful the city is stepping in to help, but suggested a tax credit for businesses would be more helpful.

It’s important to remember the restaurants won’t see direct savings themselves for not charging the meals tax.

“It’s not going to hurt us, and it’s not going to help us, but at the same time anything is great,” Colaprete said.

As we’ve reported, the city’s budget is taking a hit as a direct result of this. The city’s financial staff estimated that they’ll see a $4.4 million in lost revenue.

Learn more about the meals tax ordinance here.

On Monday, May 4, Virginia Beach also released some additional clarifications on the meals tax holiday:

  • The state sales tax still applies to prepared meals.
  • Participation in the meals tax holiday is not mandatory. Restaurants that opt to collect the City meals tax must remit them to the City.
  • Businesses must file with the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office in a timely manner or incur a late filing fee.

Those with questions can contact the Virginia Beach Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office at (757) 385-4515.

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