LUTZ, Fla. (WFLA) – You may be in for a refund if you ate at a Pasco County Taco Bell.
The restaurant on State Road 54 in Lutz, is over-charging customers when it comes to sales tax.
Instead of paying 7%, the Taco Bell is charging customers 8.5%, which is the tax rate in Hillsborough County.
Customers at the drive-through were surprised to hear the new. “That’s not right. Wow. I didn’t know that” said a customer.
“I don’t think it’s right but it happens,” said another customer.
Here’s why it is happening: Taco Bell used the zip code, not the location to calculate the sales tax. Lutz shares a zip code with parts of Hillsborough County.
“I understand it’s maybe a few cents or a few dollars, but the bottom line, its the principal. If you’re in Pasco county, charge the correct sales tax” said Pasco Tax Collector, Mike Fasano.
Fasano notified the Florida Department of Revenue. “The owner, both Taco Bell Corporation and the franchise owner know that their sales tax is too high and they’re overcharging people and they’re ignoring that fact,” said Fasano.
A Taco Bell spokesman sent 8 On Your Side a statement:
“The franchisee who owns and operates this location has corrected the tax rate, which could take up to 24 hours, and apologizes for the inconvenience. This franchise organization took over the three locations in Lutz toward the end of May and calculated the tax rates based on zip code, with this one restaurant technically in a different county. As soon as this was brought to their attention they submitted a fix for the error, and they appreciate their customers’ understanding.”Taco Bell Corp.
Mike Fasano claims it knew about the problem for weeks, or even months.
“Now it’s only because you, the media is involved that they’re taking action” he said.
He believes Taco Bell owes refunds to everyone who paid the higher sales tax. He suggests bringing in your receipt and demanding it.