Augusta County meals and lodging taxes will increase July 1

Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 10:36 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - The Augusta County Board of Supervisors voted this week to increase both the meals and lodging tax by 2% starting on July 1.

The board voted 5-2 on Wednesday to increase the meals tax in Augusta County from 4% to 6%.

Augusta County supervisors Scott Seaton and Mike Shull were not in favor of the increase, saying now is just not the right time.

“Hospitality and meal services have been the most affected by the pandemic,” Seaton said at the meeting.

The Vice President of Operations for Augusta Kitchen in Fishersville agrees.

“This is a tough time, not only for restaurants but the patrons that try to come out. The community at large is not as vibrant as it was a couple years ago,” Jim Drost said.

But Vice-Chair Butch Wells saw things a bit differently.

“I view these two taxes as a choice. People have the choice whether or not they want to go out and have a meal,” Wells said at the meeting.

While the increase may not affect business right away, Drost does anticipate it making an impact.

“It does impact people’s choices, and it doesn’t feel great that that’s going to be a new decision that you have to factor in to where you go out to eat,” Drost said.

The reason for the tax increase is to create equal taxation among cities and counties.

The board also voted on Wednesday to increase the county’s lodging tax from 4% to 6%. Half of that revenue will go to tourism. The lodging tax increase will go into effect on July 1, 2021, as well.

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