Holyoke considers charging meal tax - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Holyoke considers charging meal tax

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City councilors in Holyoke voted in favor of a local meals tax on Tuesday.

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse said the tax of .75 percent would add about $530,000 of revenue per year. He called the tax voluntary because not everyone goes out to eat. He also pointed out that Holyoke and Westfield were the only communities in Western Massachusetts that did not charge a meal tax.

Morse said he believed there was support from the community for the tax and was confident the measure would pass Tuesday night.

Several restaurants said they were not overly concerned about the new tax, but others were very frustrated with yet another tax.

Some residents acknowledged the tax was only a few cents but said they may change how often they go out to eat.

Morse said city leaders were exploring other options to raise revenues and cut costs and all options were on the table.

The annual budget for the city has run about $125 million and some residents said that was a drop in the bucket. Morse pointed out that money may be enough to keep other taxes from going higher.

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