As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A person who, for compensation, furnishes meals to another, either for pickup or on the premises of another.
- Any prepared food and drink, including alcoholic beverages, offered or held out for sale which, when sold, are ready for immediate consumption, whether eaten on or off premises, to include food served as full-course breakfasts, lunches, dinners, short orders, side orders, sandwiches, soups, salads, desserts and drinks. Foods such as packaged snacks (potato chips, crackers, etc.) and beverages purchased separately from a meal are not taxable.
- The application of labor to food to make it ready or available for immediate consumption.
- Any person who purchases a meal.
- Any place or thing in the County from which, or in which, meals are sold, including but not limited to places of business known as "bars," "cafes," "cafeterias," "coffee shops," "clubs," "delicatessens," "diners," "dining rooms," "drive-ins," "eateries," "grills," "lunch counters," "restaurants," "snack bars," "grocery stores" and "convenience stores"; also, pushcarts or other mobile facilities from which meals are sold or provided.
- Any person or caterer who sells meals.
- The Treasurer of the County of Carroll and any of his/her duly authorized agents.
In addition to all other taxes and fees of any kind now or hereafter imposed by law, a tax is hereby levied and imposed on the purchaser of every meal served, sold or delivered in the County by a restaurant or caterer. The rate of this tax shall be 4% of the amount paid for the meal. A fractional cent of tax due shall be rounded to the next higher cent.
In every case, the tax shall be calculated by the seller and paid by the purchaser at the time the charge for the meal becomes due and payable, whether payment is to be made in cash or on credit by means of a credit card or otherwise. The seller shall add the tax to the amount charged for the meal and shall pay the taxes collected to the County as provided in this article.
All amounts collected as taxes under this article shall be deemed to be held in trust by the seller collecting them, until remitted to the County as provided in this article.
The Treasurer may require all prospective sellers of meals licensed to do business in the County to register for collection of the tax imposed by this article. Every seller shall make a report to the Treasurer for each calendar month, showing the amount of charges collected for meals and the amount of tax required to be collected. The monthly reports shall be made on the forms prescribed by the Treasurer on or before the 20th day of the calendar month following the month being reported. Each report shall be accompanied by a remittance of the amount of tax due, made payable to the County.
For the purpose of compensating sellers for the collection of the tax imposed by this article, every seller shall be allowed 3% of the amount of tax due and accounted for in the form of a deduction on his or her monthly return, provided the amount due is not delinquent at the time of payment.
If any person whose duty is to do so shall fail or refuse to make the report or remit the tax required by this article within the time and in the amount required, there shall be added to the tax, by the Treasurer, a penalty in the amount of 10% of the tax, and interest thereon at the rate of 10% per annum, which shall be computed upon the tax and penalty from the date such were due and payable.
If any person whose duty it is to do so shall fail or refuse to collect the tax imposed under this article and make timely report and remittance thereof, the Treasurer shall proceed in such a manner as is practicable to obtain facts and information on which to base an estimate of the tax due. As soon as the Treasurer has procured whatever facts and information may be obtainable, upon which to base the assessment of any tax payable by any person who has failed to collect, report or remit such tax, the Treasurer shall proceed to determine and assess against such person the tax, penalty and interest provided in this article and shall notify the person, by registered mail sent to his or her last known address, of the amount of such tax, penalty and interest. The total amount thereof shall be payable 10 calendar days after the date such notice is sent.
It shall be the duty of every person liable for collection and remittance of the taxes imposed by this article to preserve for a period of two years records showing all purchases taxable under this article, the amount charged the purchaser for each such purchase, the date thereof, the taxes collected thereon and the amount of tax required to be collected by this article. The Treasurer shall have the authority and power to examine such records at reasonable times and without unreasonable interference with the business of such person, for the purpose of administering and enforcing the provisions of this article and to make transcripts of all or any part thereof.
Whenever any person required to collect and remit to the County any tax imposed by this article shall cease to operate or otherwise dispose of his or her business, the tax shall immediately become due and payable, and the person shall make to the Treasurer a report and remittance thereof by the first day of the month following which said business was terminated or disposition made thereof.
No seller shall advertise or hold out to the public in any manner, directly or indirectly, that all or any part of a tax imposed under this article will be paid or absorbed by the seller or by anyone else, or that the seller or anyone else will relieve any purchaser of the payment of all or any part of the tax.
When a purchaser provides a tip for any employee of a seller, and the amount of the tip is wholly in the discretion of the purchaser, the tip is not subject to the tax imposed by this article, whether paid in cash to the employee or added to the bill and charged to the purchaser's account, provided, in the latter case, the full amount of the tip is turned over to the employee by the seller. An amount or percentage, whether designated as a tip or a service charge, that is added to the price of a meal by the seller and required to be paid by the purchaser is a part of the selling price of the meal and is subject to the tax imposed by this article.
The following classes of transactions involving meals shall not be subject to tax under this article:
Meals furnished by restaurant employees as part of their compensation, when no charge is made to the employee.
Meals sold by public or private elementary or secondary schools to their students or employees.
Meals purchased by agencies of federal, state or local governments.
Meals furnished by a hospital, medical clinic, convalescent home, nursing home, home for the aged, infirmed or handicapped or other extended care facility to patients or residents thereof.
Meals furnished by a nonprofit charitable organization to elderly, infirm, handicapped or needy persons in their homes or at central locations.
Meals sold by a nonprofit educational, religious, charitable or benevolent organization on an occasional basis as a fund-raising activity.
It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to ascertain the name of every seller in the County who is liable for the collection of the tax imposed by this article and any person who fails, refuses or neglects to collect such tax or to make the reports and remittances required by this article. The Treasurer may cause to be issued a summons for such person, and the summons may be served upon such person by the Sheriff's Department in the manner provided by law, and the Treasurer may seek a conviction in the General District Court of the County of Carroll, Virginia, or other civil remedy, including injunction, against such person.
In the event the purchaser of any meal refuses to pay the tax imposed by this article, the seller may call upon the Sheriff's Department for assistance, and the investigating officer may, when probable cause exists, cause a summons to be issued to the purchaser for his violation, returnable to the General District Court as provided by law.
Any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Conviction shall not relieve any person from the payment, collection or remittance of the tax as provided in this article. Each violation of any portion of this article shall be considered a separate offense, and for each day that said violation occurs, it shall be considered a separate offense.
The Treasurer may issue regulations for the administration and enforcement of this article.