What’s In Your Wallet?

Guest Post by Mick McKeown

Election Day is around the corner and the most common question seems to be which Presidential candidate could you stomach in the White House. While picking the leader of the free world this election might not be the most enticing prospect, another tax is on the ballot in Fairfax County that deserves attention, but is getting buried between clips of Access Hollywood and Wikileaks. Below is how it will read on the ballot:

“The question presented in this referendum asks Fairfax County voters whether the Board of Supervisors should be authorized to levy a meals tax, as allowed by Virginia Code ยง 58.1-3833, at a rate not to exceed four percent (4%) of the amount charged for the taxable food and beverages. The Board of Supervisors has decided to dedicate the revenues to two purposes, which are specified in the ballot question. First, 70 percent of the net revenues would be dedicated to Fairfax County Public Schools. Second, 30 percent of the net revenues would be dedicated to County services, capital improvements and property tax relief.”

The Washington Post wrote an editorial supporting the tax. The piece has valid points. It discusses the vibrant dining scene in the District and Arlington are growing in spite of the tax. Mentions that people don’t notice the tax or it doesn’t change dining out habits. Lower tips are based on millennials not tipping well and couldn’t be because of the tax. Passing the tax is only going to help the situation according to the Post.

The Post makes no mention of principles. Revenue in the county is down. Growth is stagnant. The taxpayer is expected to carry a larger burden while the County refuses to reduce expenses. This is the first tax, not the last one. If the county was sincere about this tax being a stop gap measure due to an economic downturn a sunset clause would have been included. Instead expect sugar/soda taxes next like Philadelphia and California.

The quickest and quietest way to stop the insanity is at the ballot box. Vote your conscience for President and your wallet on the Meals Tax Question.


Mick McKeown is a creative and resourceful campaign professional who is well versed in contributing to political initiatives and interacting with elected officials. From Pennsylvania, McKeown now lives in Falls Church with his wife and daughter. He can be reached at www.mypoliticalimpact.com.