Apr 16, 2024 - News

Report: Some Richmond restaurants still aren't getting late meals tax notices

Illustration of an envelope with a stamp that has the "No" symbol.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The city of Richmond sent late notices to 58% of delinquent meals tax accounts during a recent seven-month period, according to a new report from the city auditor.

Why it matters: The other 42% considered delinquent between July 12, 2022 and Feb. 13, 2024 did not receive any notice telling them they owed a balance.

  • July 2022 is when the city said it began sending late notices to delinquent account holders. By February, the city was a month into the recent meals tax debacle.

The big picture: The report, which the city auditor did at the request of city council, offers an updated and more detailed look at the city's meal tax program amid the flurry of issues earlier this year.

  • Those issues triggered the city to make concrete policy changes to how it handles those bills.
  • In addition to late notices sent, the report also outlines how many meals tax accounts were actively considered delinquent by the city, how much was owed broken out by principle, interest and penalties.

By the numbers: As of Feb. 27, 673 restaurants were considered delinquent by the city owing in total around $10.9 million.

  • $2.28 million of that was interest, fees and penalties.
  • $8.57 million was owed in principal balances.

What's next: The review was not an audit, but a full audit of the meals tax programs will come after meals tax accounts transition to the new RVAPay system, which is expected to happen this year.

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