New Optional Environmental Restaurant sales tax in DC?

“Dear PoP,

A friend of mine has gone to the newly opened We the Pizza on Capitol Hill (305 Pennsylvania Ave SE) where a specialty slice of pizza is $4. When paying he was charged $4.44 instead of the $4.40 which is what is expected given the 10 per cent restaurant tax. The manager, when asked, said that the extra 1 per cent was “environmental” and that he didn’t have to pay it.

What gives here?”

Has anyone else heard of this tax? Is it really optional?

Update: Thanks to @Capital Spice for sending a link to Chowhound which explains:

“Far from it. Good Stuff Eatery, which promotes recycling and whose kitchen staff uses “bio-smart” towels, prides itself on “trying to be as green as we can,” says Catherine Mendelsohn, the restaurant’s director of operations and mother of chef Spike Mendelsohn, formerly of TV’s “Top Chef.”

The enviro charge is “around 1 percent” of the bill, she explains, and “if anyone disagrees with it, we’ll remove the charge.” (So far, she has had no takers.) Why not just add the cost to the price of a meal? “I like people to know what they’re paying for,” says Mendelsohn. — Tom Sietsema”

And since we’re talking about it, how’s the pizza here?

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