RI restaurant owners decry proposed meal tax hike

AP News
Posted: Mar 06, 2012 3:59 PM
RI restaurant owners decry proposed meal tax hike

Restaurateurs are saying no thanks to a proposed increase in Rhode Island's meals tax.

Bill Kitsilis' family has owned Angelo's Palace Pizza in Cumberland since 1978. Kitsilis was at the Statehouse Tuesday to urge lawmakers to reject Gov. Lincoln Chafee's recommended tax hike. Kitsilis says higher taxes could prompt diners to stay home or head to eateries in Massachusetts, where taxes are lower.

Chafee has proposed raising the tax from eight to 10 percent and dedicating the estimated $40 million in additional revenue to public education. Chafee's Director of Administration Richard Licht says a modest increase in meals taxes as one of the least burdensome ways to raise needed revenue for schools.

The state faces an estimated $117 million deficit.

Lawmakers have not scheduled a vote on the tax hike.