by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi
The White Stone Town Council moved forward last Thursday with a proposed meals tax and an increase in the town’s cigarette tax by setting public hearings on both matters for its November 1 meeting.
Council initiated the process of increasing its cigarette tax and establishing a meals tax in September following 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 2019 budget due to the closure of Union Bank & Trust’s White Stone branch in August.
Town manager Patrick Frere and town attorney Matson Terry were directed by council in September to draft ordinances raising the cigarette tax by five cents from 15 cents per pack to 20 cents and to set a 2.5% meals tax. The town does not currently have a meals tax…