March 29, 2012
By Illinois Policy

by Amanda Griffin-Johnson

In additional to sales taxes, many cities charge additional taxes on meals in restaurants. These “”prepared meal”” taxes can vary significantly, and a recent analysis by the Tax Foundation found that 15 of the largest 50 cities in the U.S. charge an additional tax ranging from 0.05 percent in Milwaukee to 5.5 percent in Virginia Beach. When meal taxes are combined with sales taxes, the cities with the highest taxes are meals are Minneapolis (10.775%), Chicago (10.75%), Virginia Beach (10.5%), Seattle (10.0%) and Washington, DC (10.0%). By contrast, Portland, Oregon doesn’t have a sales tax or a meal tax.

The dashboard below shows the combined sales and meal taxes of the 50 largest cities in the U.S. The bar chart on the right shows the sales tax (blue) and the additional meals tax (orange) in order of highest combined rate to lowest combined rate. In the map below, the larger and darker red the city, the higher its combined sales and meal tax. Select multiple cities on the map by clicking (and holding) the left click button while sweeping your cursor over an area of the map to create a selection box. Single-click on any gray or blue
areas to clear your selection.