July 6, 2006
The voters of Louisa County will soon decide if they can stomach a new tax on food and drink.
Residents of the Town of Louisa already pay a food-and-beverage tax when they go out to restaurants, but now the same rule may apply for Louisa County.
The Board of Supervisors voted to put the tax on the November general election ballot. The tax dollars would be used to fund the visitors center that will be built in the new Zion Crossroads development.
County officials said they chose to tax food and drinks, rather than relying on property taxes. They believe the many restaurants, hotels, homes and even a golf course that is going to be built in Zion Crossroads will have a major impact on how many visitors they will have.
"This tourism will bring a lot of people to our county, especially as our county grows, and we feel that we should be able to tax them just as our people are taxed when they go [to restaurants] out of the county," said Lee Lintecum, the Louisa County Administrator.
Now, it is up to the residents to decide in November. If the voters approve it, the amount of the tax would be decided by the Board of Supervisors. County officials said the maximum they could tax meals would be four percent.
Louisa County residents would still have to pay the five percent sales tax on top of the new food and beverage tax if they ate at a restaurant.