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Meals tax increase hard to digest


Business owners decry Council action



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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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