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Meals tax increase hard to digest

Business owners decry Council action

Bill Rivernider displays the sign he placed in front of his hot dog stand Wednesday expressing his opposition to the increase in the local meals tax. Ryan Grannan-Doll. (click for larger version)
September 02, 2009
SOUTHBRIDGE — Local merchants are railing against the town's recent decision to increase of the hotels and meals tax.

"How much can people stand?" said Bill Rivernider, a Sturbridge resident who sells hot dogs out of his stand on Main Street in Southbridge.

The Town Council last month approved increases in the hotels and meals tax, by 2 percent and .75 percent respectively, which will go into effect Thursday, Oct. 1. Overall, the hotels tax will be 6-percent, while the meals tax will be 7 percent total, with 6.25 percent of it being the state's sales tax.

Merchants had a bad taste in their mouth about the recent decision saying, they favor it only if the money would used for quality of life issues in town.

"I support it, with a caveat," said Vienna Historic and Inn Chef Jonathan Krach, whose wife, Lisa, owns the business.

See Friday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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