Posted November 16, 2018 05:07:00 The new $1.99/plate meal and service tax is now on the books in the state of Florida.
The new meal and non-alcoholic beverage tax is $3.95.
According to the Florida Department of Revenue (FDR), the new tax rates will be effective November 15th and January 1st.
“This tax has been approved by the Florida Legislature,” said Governor Rick Scott, who signed the tax bill into law last week.
“It is the first of its kind in the United States.
We expect to see this tax in place in all 50 states by the end of 2019.”
The new tax is part of a $3 trillion package of measures that Gov.
Scott has announced as part of his efforts to create jobs and stimulate the economy.
While the new meal tax was originally set to take effect on November 1st, the governor and legislative leaders pushed to delay the implementation until the state legislature can debate and vote on the bill.
For those who have already eaten at a restaurant, the new price will be $1,071.20 per person, with the additional $25 tax being added for people who are not eligible for the new fee.
Those who have eaten at restaurants before and plan to do so will have to pay the $1 fee.
Those who have not yet visited a restaurant but are looking to make a change will have until January 1, 2019 to make the switch.
Under the new law, diners will pay $2.65 for an appetizer, $2 for a side dish and $2 per entrée.
The meal and beverage tax will not apply to the sale of alcoholic beverages.
If a restaurant is closed for extended periods of time, it will be able to charge a $1 non-refundable service charge per patron.
As of November 1, the rate for a meal is $1 and the rate per serving is $0.40.
Currently, restaurants in the Palm Beach and Fort Myers area are allowed to charge up to $1 per serving of non-perishable food items such as bread and rolls, soup, ice cream, chips, bread rolls, cookies, etc. A portion of the $15 fee is going to go towards the cost of maintaining food services for those who are eligible for meal and wine tax exemptions.
Restaurants will be allowed to apply for exemptions from the meal tax for a limited time.
Once a restaurant has been exempted from the new rates, it must pay a new $2 fee per serving per customer.
Restaurants that do not have any of the restaurant exemption exemptions can continue to charge the same meal tax as before.
An estimated $1 billion in new revenue for the state will be generated by the new rate and the restaurants’ ability to maintain their current meal and alcohol tax rates.
In addition to the meal and liquor tax rates, the state has also approved a $2 million incentive program to encourage restaurants to provide more variety in their menu offerings.
Accordingly, the Governor has announced that the Florida House has passed a bill that would give the Florida State Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Tourism the authority to award a total of $4.5 million to state-owned and operated restaurants in exchange for the use of a portion of their meal and food tax rates for food, beverage and wine.
This will provide a competitive incentive for restaurants to make more choices, increase menu offerings and expand their menu.
FDR expects the new restaurant tax to be fully implemented by the beginning of 2019.
[Featured Image by John Raoux/AP Images]