Taxing the hand that feeds state economy

'This would be nothing less than a tax on food.'

Restaurant Row is under attack by seemingly the last group of people they would suspect. In its all-consuming zeal for revenue, the governor and General Assembly have in their sights one of the few flourishing industries in the state. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.



HOSPITALITY

Taxing the hand that feeds state economy

'This would be nothing less than a tax on food.'

Posted 4/30/12

Restaurant Row is under attack by seemingly the last group of people they would suspect. In its all-consuming zeal for revenue, the governor and General Assembly have in their sights one of the few flourishing industries in the state.

By including in the proposed budget for the coming fiscal year an increase in the state meals tax that would add a total of 10 percent to the cost of a meal, the governor and legislature are putting the state’s vibrant restaurant industry in jeopardy.

Restaurant owners have mobilized behind the Rhode Island Hospitality Association and have demanded that this proposed tax be removed from the state budget, as well they should.

Right now the sales tax is 7 percent and the meals tax is 1 percent. Chafee’s budget would take the meals tax to 3 percent, which would make the total combined tax 10 percent. The tax is charged at restaurants, takeout counters, for prepared foods at supermarkets and for catered dinners at weddings and functions - ironically enough including political dinners.

The hospitality association and its board of directors are on record in opposition to the proposal. The association has stated that the tax increase “will place an undue burden on local businesses, and put the state at a competitive disadvantage.”

In media accounts of the opposition by the restaurant community in rallies and protest marches, including a “tea party” that attracted worldwide media attention, the focus has been on the impact to the industry.

There is another aspect to this proposed tax that has not been reported on.

Forty-nine cents of every dollar that you and I spend on food is spent on prepared meals, cooked for us at a restaurant or takeout counter. According to the National Restaurant Association, this figure has doubled over the past 50 years. Due to the changing of the culture over the years, particularly the necessity of two-income families and the resulting demand on our time, there is far less home cooking being done. Families are being fed today by restaurants, including prepared foods from supermarkets and delis.

Next Page
Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Two Great Programs...One Great Event. PBN's Annual Celebration of Growth and Innovation is now underway. 2014 applications are now available. Deadline August 1st.
  • Healthiest Employers
    See who the Healthiest Employers in RI are! And save the date - August 14th - at ...
  • 40 Under Forty
    Thank you to our sponsors and to all those who attended the 10th Anniversary of ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News
    Advertisement