The simple answer to this question is yes! Now, you might have thought you were not paying sales tax at the lodge… But you have been paying sales taxes on everything you purchase in this lodge since the beginning of time. The lodge has been rolling the taxes together into one price. There are positives and negatives to doing this in the lodge. By rolling all the taxes into a single price, it makes it easier for the cashiers to make change for sales in the lodge. But there are many negatives. The lodge still needs to pay each month the Virginia Sales taxes. The lodge has been paying anywhere from $500 to $600 a month in these taxes. This is not a small bill! Also, when the price of beer, chicken wings, or any product goes up, we make less if the lodge doesn’t pass that on to the member. The lodge for many years has been reluctant to raise prices because we know the members do not like prices going up. We don’t either! I think you know by now where we are going with all of this!
So, the lodge started charging sales tax last month. We did this because the prices of the products we buy keep going up. And, we really liked having the rolled-up pricing structure. But here is the catch-22, the price we get taxed on is the price we charge at the cash register. So, if we roll the taxes into the price at the register and full price is taxable. So that means, the taxes we roll into the price at the register is now being taxed a second time! Are you confused yet? I hope not.
Now, members say the lodge is tax exempt from paying taxes. This is just not true. Lodges depending on the jurisdiction do not pay some taxes. Most lodges are tax-exempt from property taxes. But all businesses are expected to pay sales taxes on the items it sells at their place of business. In talking to Mike Stumbaugh our Moose International Territory Manager said “…All lodges pay sales taxes in the state of Virginia…” And, in talking to other businesses in the area like the American Legion in Annandale Manager Diane Ramsey said, “…We roll the taxes into the price of the items we sell. Most members think we do not pay any taxes, but this is not true…”
So, in conclusion, the reason we started passing on the sales tax to the member is simple, we could not logically keep doing business this way. Just know we strive and work hard to get you the best price on all products we sell. We also know you can choose to spend your hard-earned money anywhere and we thank you for spending them here! We hope this answers the questions that many members have been asking about this change. If you need more information please reach out to any board officer.