Wythe County wants state to let it raise meal tax

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WYTHEVILLE (WSLS 10) - The Wythe County Board of Supervisors has asked the state legislature to create an even playing field between towns, cities and counties across the state when it comes to meal taxes.

Right now, towns and cities are allowed to tax meals up to 8 percent, while counties are only allowed to tax 4 percent.

The Wythe County Board of Supervisors is asking lawmakers to allow counties to collect up to 8 percent at restaurants outside of town and city limits.

Leaders said Wythe County has about 30,000 residents, but gets about 75,000 travelers coming through its two interstates each day. Leaders said if the state approves the measure, this would allow the county to capitalize more on its tourism industry.

"By doing this, what we're able to do is take advantage of the travelers who are passing through our area," said county spokesman Jeremy Farley. "It's ridiculous that we have 75,000 people who pass through our locality each day, but we're not able to maximize the ability to get some of that revenue."

The state legislative session will start in January.