[Code 1991, § 17-251; Ord. No. 00-12, 7-11-2000]
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- A person who furnishes food, beverages or both on the premises of another, for compensation.
- COMMISSIONER OF THE REVENUE
- The Commissioner of the Revenue of the City and any of his duly authorized agents.
- All food, beverages or both, including alcoholic beverages, purchased in or from a food establishment, whether prepared in such food establishment or not, and whether consumed on the premises or not, and without regard to the manner, time or place of service.
- FOOD ESTABLISHMENT
- Any place in or from which food or food products are prepared, packaged, sold, or distributed in the City, including, but not limited to, any restaurant, dining room, grill, coffee shop, cafeteria, cafe, snack bar, lunch counter, convenience store, grocery store, movie theater, delicatessen, confectionary, bakery, eating house, eatery, drugstore, ice cream/yogurt shop, lunch wagon or truck, pushcart or other mobile facility from which food is sold, public or private club, resort, bar, lounge, or other similar establishment, public or private, and shall include private property outside of and contiguous to a building or structure operated as a food establishment at which food or food products are sold for immediate consumption.
- Any prepared food or drink offered or held out for sale by a food establishment for the purpose of being consumed by any person to satisfy the appetite and that is ready for immediate consumption. All such food and beverage, unless otherwise specifically exempted or excluded in this article, shall be included, whether intended to be consumed on the seller's premises or elsewhere, whether designated as breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, supper, or by some other name, and without regard to the manner, time, or place of service.
- Any person who purchases a meal.
- Any person who sells a meal and any caterer.
- The treasurer of the City and any of his duly authorized agents.
[Code 1991, § 17-252; Ord. No. 00-12, 7-11-2000; Ord. No. 07-24, 6-12-2007; Ord. No. 09-31, 6-23-2009]
For each and every fiscal year, beginning July 1 and ending June 30 of each such year, unless otherwise changed by the City Council, there is hereby imposed and levied a tax on the purchaser of every meal served, sold or delivered in the City by a food establishment or caterer, whether prepared in such food establishment or not, and whether consumed on the premises or not. The rate of such tax shall be 6% of the amount paid for the meal. There shall be no tax if the total amount paid is $0.50 or less; on larger amounts, a fractional cent of tax due shall be rounded to the next higher cent.
[Code 1991, § 17-253; Ord. No. 00-12, 7-11-2000; amended 8-9-2016 by Ord. No. 16-19]
The tax imposed under this article shall not be levied on the following items when served exclusively for off-premises consumption:
Factory-prepackaged candy, gum, nuts and other items of essentially the same nature;
Factory-prepackaged donuts, ice cream, crackers, nabs, chips, cookies and items of essentially the same nature;
Food sold in bulk. For purposes of this subsection, a bulk sale shall mean the sale of any item that would exceed the normal, customary and usual portion sold for on-premises consumption (e.g., a whole cake, a gallon of ice cream); a bulk sale shall not include any food or beverage that is catered or delivered by a food establishment for off-premises consumption;
A grocery store, supermarket, or convenience store shall not be subject to the tax, except for any portion or section therein designated as a delicatessen or designated for the sale of prepared food and beverages.
The tax imposed under this article shall not be levied on items exempted under Code of Virginia, § 58.1-3840.
[Code 1991, § 17-254]
The Commissioner of the Revenue may issue regulations for the administration and enforcement of this article.
[Code 1991, § 17-255]
It shall be the duty of the Commissioner of the Revenue to ascertain the name of every seller in the City liable for the collection of the tax imposed by this article who fails, refuses or neglects to collect such tax or to make the reports and remittances required by this article. The Commissioner of the Revenue shall turn his information and all appropriate documents over to the treasurer for collection.
[Code 1991, § 17-256; Ord. No. 00-04, 2-22-2000]
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 Commissioner of the Revenue shall proceed in such manner as is practicable to obtain facts and information on which to base an estimate of the tax due. As soon as the commissioner has procured whatever facts and information may be obtainable, upon which to base the assessment of any such meals tax, the commissioner shall proceed to determine and assess against such person the tax, penalty and interest provided in this article, and shall notify the person by certified mail, sent to his last known address, of the amount of such tax, penalty and interest. The total amount thereof shall be payable within 10 days after the date such notice is sent.
[Code 1991, § 17-257; Ord. No. 00-12, 7-11-2000]
Any person willfully failing or refusing to file a return as required under this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, except that any person failing to file such a return shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor if the amount of tax lawfully assessed in connection with the return is $1,000 or less. Any person violating or failing to comply with any other provision of this article shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Except as provided in Subsection A of this section, any corporate or partnership officer, as defined in Code of Virginia, § 58.1-3906, or any other person required to collect, account for, or pay over the meals tax imposed under this article, who willfully fails to collect or truthfully account for or pay over such tax, or who willfully evades or attempts to evade such tax or payment thereof, shall, in addition to any other penalties imposed by law, be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Each violation of or failure to comply with this article shall constitute a separate offense. Conviction of any such violation shall not relieve any person from the payment, collection or remittance of the tax as provided in this article.
[Code 1991, § 17-258]
In every case, the tax levied by this article shall be collected 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 City as provided in this article.
[Code 1991, § 17-259]
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 City as provided by this article.
[Code 1991, § 17-260]
The Commissioner of the Revenue may require all prospective sellers of meals licensed to do business in the City to register for collection of the tax imposed by this article. Every seller shall make a report to the City 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 forms prescribed by the Commissioner of the Revenue and shall be signed by the seller. They shall be delivered to the Commissioner of the Revenue 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 City Treasurer.
[Code 1991, § 17-261; Ord. No. 09-09, 3-24-2009]
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 the tax due and accounted for in the form of a deduction on his monthly return, not to exceed $100 for a month, provided the amount due is not delinquent at the time of payment.
[Code 1991, § 17-263]
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 Commissioner of the Revenue shall have the 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 parts thereof.
[Code 1991, § 17-264]
Whenever any person required to collect and remit to the City the tax imposed by this article shall cease to operate or otherwise dispose of his business, the tax shall immediately become due and payable, and the person shall immediately make a report to the Commissioner of the Revenue with a check made payable to the City Treasurer.
[Code 1991, § 17-265]
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.
[Code 1991, § 17-266]
Where a purchaser provides a tip for an 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.