Some restaurateurs rely on the “meal sales tax” rebate week to recover lost revenue

WETHERSFIELD, Connecticut (WTNH) – In the first full fiscal year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state broke its previous record for collecting sales tax. Almost $ 5.3 billion was collected from June to June, more than $ 630 million increase from fiscal 2020.

Some of this money will stay with the restaurateurs. They benefited from a special week-long “sales tax on meals” installment.

The Charles, tucked away in a 1790 house in the heart of Old Wethersfield, opened amid the pandemic – a risky decision.

“We’ve had a lot of decisions to make to make sure we can survive the pandemic,” Bryce Hardy, owner of The Charles, told News 8.

COVID-19 meant less than maximum capacity. Add to that a labor shortage, supply chain issues and rising costs.

Scott Dolch, president of the Connecticut Restaurant Industry Association, said inflation is tricky.

“Inflation is real,” Dolch said. “Everyone knows that when you go to a grocery store and see what you pay for milk and eggs. The same is happening at the back of the house.

This means that restaurants pay extra for ingredients and try to balance the price of menu items. They spend money on outdoor dining and safe indoor spaces, including special air filtration systems.

“A lot of the costs that I’m going to recover from sales tax will be used to recover these funds,” Hardy said.

It refers to the state that passed a law designating a sales tax rebate week on meals. Restaurant owners can choose one of three weeks in the year to keep cash.

  • from August 1, 2021 to August 7, 2021;
  • from December 12, 2021 to December 18, 2021; Where
  • May 15, 2022 to May 21, 2022

Dolch said it was like an internal grant.

“This allows all restaurants in the state of Connecticut to collect the 7.35% sales tax that would normally be returned to the state, and they can keep it,” Dolch said.

Hardy chose to use the designated week in August. He said he was unsure of the winter months and consumer confidence.

“Our sales increased in the fall and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen in the winter,” he said.

For some in the industry, it helps them to recover. For The Charles and the other newcomers, it’s about moving forward and growing their business.

“We have been very fortunate to have the support of our community of Wethersfield and beyond,” said Hardy.

State lawmakers are considering allowing alfresco dining permits beyond March and making take-out cocktails permanent.

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