THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
< Back to front page Text size +

Meals tax increase tabled in Malden

Posted by Alix Roy  June 30, 2010 10:03 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

The Malden City Council delayed efforts by Malden Mayor Richard Howard to add a .75 percent local meals tax by tabling the initiative until a public hearing can be held on the issue.

During a budget presentation to the City Council earlier this month, Howard said he'd included $332,000 in new revenue from the tax increase to the fiscal 2011 budget, which takes effect July 1. Pending the Council's approval, the local tax would start Oct. 1, he said.

But some members of the Finance Committee were not convinced that the revenue was worth the extra burden on residents and restaurant owners. On Monday, the committee voted 4-2 to eliminate the tax from the budget, opting to spread the $332,000 loss equally across all departments. On Tuesday, City Controller Domenic Fermano passed out a copy of proposed cuts to all department operating budgets. The cuts will not affect personnel.

Councilor Paul Condon was the lone committee member to speak in favor of the tax on Tuesday, stressing the importance of bringing in additional revenue to prevent further cuts to public safety and education.

"I think we're making a mistake, taking another $332,000 out," he said. "Half the people eating in this city are from other cities and everyone around us voted [to adopt] the meals tax."

By tabling the meals tax option, the council can still vote to implement it at a later date, Fermano confirmed. If the meals tax is approved prior to October, the city will see revenue beginning in January of next year, he said.

Councilor Deb Fallon advocated for transparency in the decision, saying that approving the tax without public input would be unfair..

"We need to have more debate on this and have a discussion with the public about it," she said.

As of Wednesday, a public hearing date had not yet been set, said City Clerk Karen Anderson. 

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article