NRA” fight meal tax ‘cap’

NRA” fight meal tax ‘cap’ – National Restaurant Association

Charles Bernstein

WASHINGTON — William Fisher, National Restaurant Association executive vice president and staff chief, has requested that all food-service operators and suppliers immediately voice their displeasure with current meal tax deduction legislation being considered in Congress.

“Any type of limitation on business meal tax deductions is intolerable to the NRA and to all segments of the industry,” he declared. “We must all speak out against these reprehensible plans. I urge everyone in the food-service industry to write or see their Congressmen on this issue.”

Fisher’s plea came on the eve of the NRA’s fall board meeting and a subsequent NRA-sponsored government affairs conference here.

A Congressional Joint Committee for Taxation has been mulling a possible new plan while the House Ways and Means committee moves toward consideration of President Reagan’s proposals. Under the new plan a specific percentage limitation would be placed on all meal tax deductions as a substitute for Reagan’s suggestion that anything up to $25 per person be fully tax deductible and that 50% of the amount spent over $25 be allowed.

Thus a stated percentage (currently being debated at anything from 10% to 50%) would be taken off the total cost of any business meal for tax deduction purposes. That would mean that on a percentage basis each segment of the industry would be affected equally. Critics of the Reagan administration’s proposal contend that the $25 cap puts an unfair burden on fine-dining establishments.

The percentage plan was advanced in the late 1970’s by President Carter, who at one point called for a straight 50% subtraction from business meal deductions.

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