Thursday, May 7, 2009

"hearings are slated to begin next week"

Dining out at restaurants, registering your car, and even watching satellite television would get more expensive under a plan that will be recommended today by a special legislative panel hunting for new revenue to aid cities and towns.

The commission's report contains a potentially big money maker for municipalities. It says local officials should have the option of raising meal taxes by 2 percentage points and increasing taxes on hotel rooms by 4 percentage points.

The increases, along with a variety of other taxes and fees, would raise at least $409 million to benefit municipalities as state lawmakers are reducing local aid payments. It would be a crucial boost for struggling cities and towns, panel members and city leaders said.

"It's the first light we've seen in a dark tunnel," Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston said in an interview yesterday. "It seems positive to me. We've been advocating for local options for several years, and if this says cities can have their own local option, it's a good beginning."

The Boston Globe today reports on some progress made to enable local communities to obtain revenue. Read more about this attempt to reduce our dependency on local property taxes here

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