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The Voice of the

Commonwealth's Counties

Support Needed for Legislation Allowing Consolidated Meals Tax/Bond Referendum Question

HB 1390 (Aird) has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee and is expected to be heard next week.  The bill applies to an instance in which a county seeks to pay for debt-funded projects with revenues derived from a meals tax, and permits the county to put before the voters a consolidated question on the implementation of the meals tax and the issuance of debt to be supported with meals tax revenues, rather than asking two separate questions, as is currently set out in Code.  This change would avoid a situation in which voters approve debt, but not the revenues to be used to support the debt, by allowing the county to make the issuance of debt contingent on the approval of the intended revenue source.

ACTION REQUIRED – Please call Senate Finance Committee members in support of HB 1390.


  • This bill does not change the requirement for a county meals tax to be approved by a referendum. It merely allows proposed projects and revenues to be put before the voters in one question rather than separately.
  • This change would avoid a situation in which voters approve debt but not the revenues to be used to pay for the debt, as has happened several times in the recent past.


Senate Finance Committee: Norment (Co-Chair), Hanger (Co-Chair), Howell, Saslaw, Lucas, Newman, Ruff, Wagner, McDougle, Vogel, Carrico, Obenshain, Barker, Dunnavant, Stuart, Dance

VACo Contact: Katie Boyle

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