Food for Tax Money: The Big Decision

November 8, 2016

Fairfax county will be deciding something incredibly important on November 8th. No, it’s not only the presidential election. The Fairfax County Government Board will vote on whether or not to add 4 percent more tax to the already 6 percent tax on food and beverages. For example, if a student were to spend $10 on Chipotle, instead of the $.60 tax, it would be upped to a whole dollar. The new tax law would be only in Fairfax County and would not affect school lunches as some low income students could no longer afford it. They are doing this to boost Fairfax’s revenue as FCPS is in tremendous debt.

According to Fairfax County’s website, “…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, such as roads and building upkeep, capital improvements, and property tax relief.” Two of the big reasons for the proposed tax is to help the in debt FCPS system and assist in the rebuilding of crumbling buildings and roads. The Washington Post reports that, “…the county school system is struggling to fund more English-instruction courses and more free-and-reduced lunches for a steadily growing population of 187,000 students …Local roads, parks and county buildings are worn, and pressure is mounting to begin implementing $35 million in changes…” This tax that could potentially go into effect would not affect grocery shopping, and that tax will stay the same. Junior Neha Sam said, “It’s a great idea because it will add revenue to the county.”

Resistance has sprung up all around Fairfax. reports that “It [will] affect low to middle income families disproportionately, as they are the primary consumers of prepared meals.”

Students from Robinson also weighed in. Junior Hanna Hassan said, “adding a tax will only result in a waste of more money as the county does not effectively utilize the revenue they get now.” The Connection and Fairfax County Times have also voiced their anti-meal tax thoughts by publishing articles like “Meals Tax a Burden on the Vulnerable” and “Fairfax Letter: Meals Tax: Vote ‘No’.” They both report the same sort of information: how this proposed one million (the estimated addition to the County’s budget) tax would negatively affect small chains The question is raised: on November 8th, how will Fairfax vote?

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