Supervisors to discuss meals and lodging taxes
by Larry Chowning
The Middlesex County Board of Supervisors has tabled a vote on holding a meals tax referendum and also on holding a public hearing on a proposed lodging tax until the board’s August 6 meeting when all supervisors are supposed to be present.
Saluda District supervisor Pete Mansfield was not at the July 2 board meeting and Mansfield had advocated promoting a meals tax to generate revenue to be used to lower the county’s real estate tax rate.
During talks at the July 2 meeting, board chairman Carlton Revere suggested if county voters approved a meals tax, the revenue could go directly into a capital improvement fund. He noted these funds could be earmarked for specific capital improvements and would, in effect, keep the real estate tax rate down.
“The funds from a meals tax would keep us from having to spend money from the general fund on capital improvements and from having to raise real estate taxes to pay for those improvements,” Revere said.
By law, voters must approve a meals tax referendum authorizing the county to establish the tax. The county held referendums on a meals tax in 1999, 2005 and 2010. In all three elections, the meals tax was overwhelmingly voted down by county citizens.
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