The Washington Post

Arlington treasurer refuses to eat at deadbeat restaurants, and says you should too

Arlington County Treasurer Frank O'Leary wants to crack down on restaurants who collect the county meals tax, then don't pay it to the county. And he won't eat at their restaurants. (Arlington County)

But in an interview with Scott Brodbeck of, O’Leary says he is seeking the power to close restaurants who don’t pay their taxes. And he also wants the authority to publicize the names of the tax-stealing businesses. (The State of NoVa hereby volunteers to publish that list.)

It’s not a complicated concept, O’Leary told “You can’t charge people tax on their meals and keep it for yourself, no matter how pressing your problems are. That money belongs to the county.”

O’Leary’s office is sending a notice to tax delinquent restaurants, threatening to publicize their names if they don’t agree to a repayment plan. And O’Leary says patrons should boycott restaurants who don’t pay their meals taxes, as he does. Well, we can’t boycott if we don’t know who’s doing the stealing. Let’s see that list.

The full piece is here.

Tom Jackman is a native of Northern Virginia and has been covering the region for The Post since 1998.


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