Restaurants fighting against “Dining Tax”

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Restaurant owners across the state are lining up to oppose a state budget plan that would create a new “Dining Tax.”  As News 8 first reported last week, Democratic leaders in the House are pushing the plan as part of the budget stalemate solution.

Even at lunchtime in the middle of July, there’s a very active restaurant scene in New Haven. However, restaurant operators across the state are watching the state budget stalemate in Hartford very closely because of a potential financial and confusing impact on their customers.

Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz of Berlin and House Majority leader Matt Ritter of Hartford are actively pushing for a boost in the state sales tax to 6.99%, plus a local option dining tax that could increase the sales tax to 7.99% in some communities for food and beverages served at restaurants and bars. The extra penny would be to raise cash for financially strapped cities.

Related Content: House GOP budget plan calls for no tax hikes

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, who points out that over fifty percent of the real estate in the Elm City is property tax exempt, likes the idea. “Yes, I would love to see there be an increase in the overall sales tax for food, for beverages and to have it redistributed to our cities,” she stated.

Matt Bailey is a partner in two New Haven restaurants; Olives and Oil and Elm City Social. He says he and other restaurant operators are opposing this to watch out for their customers. “We want to make sure if they want to go out to eat that they’re not faced with another tax on top of the sales tax,” Bailey stated.

Because the proposal would allow the cities to set the additional sales tax rate, it could be different from one community to the next.

Adds Bailey, “There’s going to be customer confusion no doubt. With chain restaurants, a customer could go to one location in one town and possibly pay a different total on their bill than they would pay in another town because of the tax being different town by town.”

Bailey also says that could have a big impact on the event and party business as well. Restaurant owners say they are sympathetic to the plight of city leaders but are hoping to halt this idea before it ever gets to your check.

Rep. Aresimowicz says the proposed dining tax would apply to all bars and restaurants including fast food.


WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s