By Stephen Quigley
Mayor Carlo DiMaria brought his case before the Board of Aldermen last Wednesday night for capturing a $250,000 windfall for the City of Everett with a .75% meals tax on food tabs in local restaurants.
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“As a small business owner and as mayor I can see both sides and as the CEO of this city, I have opportunity to raise needed revenue, and the impact on the consumer is minimal. I’m glad the City Council agrees, and we’ll put this revenue to good use in our community,” said the mayor. Several aldermen overcame their original skepticism about approving the local meals tax and voted 4-2 to approve the tax increase that will start on October 1.
“I have some reservations, but as I think of this by the end of the day, it would benefit the taxpayers of the city. We still control the money and how it is spent,” Alderman Robert Van Campen said. Alderman Michael Marchese echoed this thought saying, “I am not just for taxing people, but as long as we designate the use and spend the money correctly, I will stand in support.”
Aldermen Marchese, Van Campen, Jason Marcus and Salvatore Sachetta voted for the local tax while Aldermen Wayne Matewsky and L. Charles DiPierri voted against. This tax needed to be voted on by the Common Council and Board of Aldermen before August 31 to be enacted by October 1.
The City will not be able to repeal the tax for three years. The receipts will go into the general fund account. In the last six months the state has cut more than $4M from the city’s $133M for this fiscal year. The Common Council approved this measure last week.