Proposed Meals Tax Causes Restaurant Concern - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

Proposed Meals Tax Causes Restaurant Concern

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In the next few weeks, Chesterfield County is expected to launch an educational campaign on the proposed 2 percent meals tax.

Voters will decide with a referendum during the November election and already the community is split on the issue.

Cafe Caturra co CEO Dexter Brown is pleased to see a big afternoon lunch crowd - something he fears could change if customers are slapped with a 2 percent tax.

"Anything that would serve as a dis-incentive for people to go out into the community and spend money isn't going to help," he says.

Like others in the business community, Brown says now isn't the right time for another tax -- explaining the economy still isn't where it needs to be and there are too many unknowns about costs associated with the Affordable Care Act.

Last month, the Board of Supervisors lowered the proposal from 4 to 2 percent.

Customers say it's enough to garner their support for the tax, which would fund school and public safety projects.

"We do need a revenue source, and I think as opposed to increasing property taxes I think this is a good compromise," says customer Ann Ketchum.

"Having taught 25 years, I can only say education is the hope of the future and I realize no one is real supportive of taxes but I can't think of anything better," says customer Sam Mottley.

But Brown is concerned a meals tax could just be the beginning of what's to come -- the potential for more taxes.

He, instead, asks the county to look for ways to run more efficiently with the revenue already coming in.

"The meal tax would open a flood gate. I feel it would be more prudent for the board of supervisors to try to find savings than simply increase revenues," Brown says.

The Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce says it does not yet have a position on the proposed meals tax, but it will in the next few months after holding forums for its members about the impact.

This is a developing story. 8News will continue to follow.


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