by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi
WHITE STONE—Smokers and diners may soon have to pay a little more for their purchases in White Stone.
The White Stone Town Council last Thursday initiated the process of increasing its cigarette tax and establishing a meals tax. The decision followed a report by budget and finance committee chairman William Hubbard. According to Hubbard, the town is facing an estimated $20,000 shortfall in bank franchise tax revenue in the 2018-19 budget due to the August closure of the Union Bank & Trust branch at 485 Chesapeake Drive, White Stone.
The budget and finance committee of councilmen Hubbard, Irving Brittingham and Blair Kenyon met two weeks ago and proposed an increase of five cents, from 15 cents to 20 cents per pack, in the town’s cigarette tax. Additionally, the committee recommended implementing a new 2.5% meals tax. White Stone does not have a meals tax, while nearby Kilmarnock has a 5% meals tax.
“We’re fairly optimistic that [those two options] would more than make up the shortfall,” said Hubbard…