Warren seeks to increase taxes on meals, lodging
Posted: October 30, 2012
FRONT ROYAL — Warren County officials plan to contact state legislators to pitch a plan to raise meals and lodging taxes in the county by 2 percent. The proposal is designed to compensate the town of Front Royal for services it provides to businesses in the U.S. 340/522 corridor in the county.
If approved, the tax increase would make Warren the first county in Virginia to raise its meals tax above 4 percent.
The proposal calls for raising the meals tax from 4 to 6 percent and the lodging tax from 2 to 4 percent. The additional revenue would help compensate the town for the cost it incurs by providing water and sewer services to businesses in Warren.
The idea was presented as a response to discussions among members of the Town Council about whether Front Royal should pursue annexing land in the corridor as a way to collect more tax revenue to help pay for the cost of water and sewer services.
The county generates about $700,000 a year from its meals tax, $600,000 of which comes from businesses in the corridor. It takes in around $60,000 a year from its lodging tax, $50,000 of which comes from the corridor.
County leaders said during a work session Tuesday that they need to move forward on the tax increase in order to have a chance of enacting it next year.
If legislators approve the increase, the county would still need to hold a public hearing on the matter, county attorney Blair Mitchell said.