Burger chain has beef with how Arkansas taxes manager meals

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP)   A chain of fast food restaurants went before the Arkansas Supreme Court with a beef over state sales tax collections.

Flis Enterprises lets Burger King managers eat for free and pays taxes on those meals at the wholesale cost. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration wants taxes on the retail cost. The difference is about $33,000 per year.

The restaurant chain said Thursday that, since the food is never offered to the public, the retail cost never applies. The state says changing raw ingredients makes a new product with a higher value, so the taxes must be higher.

The state had said it might invoke a recent court decision barring lawsuits against the state, but Thursday's arguments remained centered on what happens when raw meat becomes a cooked meal.

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