Fairfax County Meals Tax

In 2016, the Fairfax County Board of Directors proposed a referendum for the November 8th ballot that would add a 4% tax to all prepared and ready-to-eat food items in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Fairfax County Meals TaxTaxed items would include restaurant meals, hotel banquets and catering services, pizza deliveries, grocery store salad bars, convenience store hot dogs, food truck meals, stadium nachos, and more. Fairfax County government insisted that the tax revenues would be used for Fairfax County Public Schools, but no guarantees were made, and ballot language remained non-committal.

Weber Merritt launched an educational campaign in Fairfax County by spearheading the creation of the coalition, Fairfax Families Against the Food Tax. The coalition’s primary goal was to inform voters of the referendum question and what it would truly mean for their hard-earned money. The activities included the following:

  • Recruitment of business supporters
  • Recruitment of volunteers for Election Day
  • Creation of all graphics and logos for the campaign
  • Content writing for all pamphlets, handouts, and other informational materials
  • Weekly press releases and e-blasts to supporters
  • Social media management for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
  • Campaign website and petition management
  • Attending and speaking at major community events
  • Local media outreach


Overall Management and Implementation

  • Served as liaison between Fairfax Families Against the Food Tax and Weber Merritt’s grassroots organizers
  • Reported to Fairfax Families Against the Food Tax on all field progress and status of the campaign




  • El Tiempo
  • Doi Nay
  • Korea Daily
  • Connection Newspapers


Full Service Public Relations Support

  • Developed press lists for national, regional and local media outlets
  • Distributed talking points for media interviews
  • Coordinated press materials to be handed out at events
  • Distributed all media advisories and releases
  • Conducted media interview preparation
  • Responsible for all local media outreach


Earned Media Results

Fairfax County:

  • Greater Alexandria Patch
  • Alexandria Gazette Packet
  • Fairfax Times
  • Reston Now
  • Falls Church News Press
  • Reston Connection
  • Burke Connection
  • McLean Patch
  • Kingstowne Patch
  • Mount Vernon Gazette


  • Bearing Drift
  • Inside NoVa
  • Connection Newspapers
  • Arlington Connection
  • Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal

DMV Area:

  • WUSA 9
  • WJLA
  • WTOP
  • Washington Post
  • Washington Times
  • Americans for Tax Reform
  • NBC Washington


Collateral Production

  • Yard signs
  • Stickers
  • Posters in English, Spanish, Korean, and Vietnamese
  • Tri-fold brochures
  • Grocery list of taxed items
  • Election Day handouts in English, Spanish, Korean, and Vietnamese


Final Results: 

The Fairfax County Meals Tax Referendum was defeated with a 54% majority (290,000 votes).

Recent Blog Posts and News Stories All Blog Posts and News Stories

Bloomberg: Young Americans Are Killing Marriage
2017-04-04 10:56:12
There's no shortage of theories as to how and why today's young people differ from their parents. As marketing consultants never cease to point out, baby boomers and millennials appear to have starkly different attitudes about pretty much everything, from money and sports to breakfast and lunch.
Read the News Story
Grassroots, Business, and the Social Media "HyperVenue"
2017-02-03 13:43:00
Corporations and advocates of growth and opportunity have a lot to learn about grassroots and grasstops organizing. We pride ourselves on laying out an organizational strategy...
Read the Blog Post
Alternet: 10 Reasons Millennials Are the Screwed Generation
2017-01-24 09:48:00
Alternet author, Alex Henderson, shares why young people in the United States has inherited a broken country.
Read the News Story
What's the Deal with Millennials?
2017-01-17 12:37:00
Why do they do what they do politically? What’s the end game, what’s driving opinion now…and what might into the future? There are a lot of opinions on that. Most are based on measurements made using fairly traditional instruments: polls, spending habits, TV/video entertainment ratings. And of course, elections, also analyzed by polling, both exit and quantitative.
Read the Blog Post

Find Us

Call Us
119 Oronoco Street
Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
Lets talk