by Amanda Griffin-Johnson
notice that going out to eat seems more expensive in Chicago than other
cities? One of the reasons is that on top of the very high sales tax in
Chicago, there are additional taxes on meals in restaurants: 0.25
percent Chicago restaurant tax and 1.0 percent Metropolitan Pier and
Exposition Authority (MPEA) food and beverage tax. The MPEA tax is only
applicable for certain parts of Chicago, specifically both airports and
the downtown Chicago area.
Chicago isn't the only city that has these types of taxes. "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 on 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.
To see the numbers behind the Tax Foundation's report, check out our interactive dashboard by clicking the map below.