After a brief and controversy-free discussion, selectmen last night decided not to support an increase in local meal and hospitality taxes. That means the issue won’t show up on the warrant at the fall town meeting.
Proprietors of a couple Southborough establishments showed up at the meeting, including Kevin Gill who owns Owen O’Leary’s and the Soutborough Motor Lodge. Not surprisingly, Gill spoke out against the taxes.
“It could seriously affect me,” Gill said of the tax. “Business is tough.” He said if the taxes were enacted, his sales would be affected which in turn would impact jobs.
The board was unanimous in its decision not to support the new taxes. “We’re better off right now to leave things alone,” Selectman Bill Boland said.
“This is not the time to add an additional tax,” Selectwoman Bonnie Phaneuf agreed.
According to Finance Director Brian Ballantine, if the town had enacted the taxes it would have received a projected $20,000 from the hotel tax and $60,000 from the meals tax annually.
(Photo by The Consumerist)
This is a mistake. With Fay School taking so much property off the tax roles, we need the additional tax revenue.
Too bad we can’t apply a hotel tax to Fay School and St. Marks.
I truly believe that the Board made a wise decision. It’s reassuring that the tax and spend mentality that is currently ruling Beaon Hill is not ruling Southborough.
I’m grateful to our elected town officials for their fiscally conservative decision to support our local businesses in these tough economic times.
I’m glad the board acted as they did. If Fay School & St. Mark’s removal of property from the tax rolls is a problem let’s enter into discussions with THEM about raising their PILOT contributions or making some other accomodation to the town. We shouldn’t make small businesses, who already pay their fair share, suffer for that lost revenue.
I can certainly understand the others’ opinion on this issue and I appreciate the way they presented a differing opinion.
I guess I am still pretty worked up that town employees had to take a pay cut last year to help balance the budget. I could be wrong – just ask Mimi22 who I hope is having a pleasant summer – but I don’t think the increases would impact business that much. I can understand that concern about discretionary spending impacting a restaurant’s business. I just don’t think it would cause someone to NOT stay at a local hotel.
The hotel portion of the increase would be $20,000 WHICH IS LESS THAN ONE THIRD THE AMOUNT OF TAXES FAY HAS TAKEN OFF THE TAX ROLLS RECENTLY. I’m off my soapbox.
I’m glad that’s not my lunch bill in the photo….seriously, although revenues are down across the country, this isn’t the time to increase the meals tax. All it will accomplish is driving smaller establishments out of business, which in turn will deplete revenues further.