Culpeper council votes to advertise meals tax increase

The Culpeper Town Council tonight moved a step closer to implementing a one cent increase in the town meals tax from five cents to six cents. In a 5-3 vote (Councilman Billy Yowell was absent) the council voted to advertise the rate hike. However, advertising the tax and passing it are two different things. It takes only five votes to advertise the tax, but it would take six votes to implement it. The council can still decide to nix the tax.
Councilmen Dave Lochridge has been vocal in his opposition to the meals tax increase and he was joined by Councilman Frank Reaves and Vice Mayor Mike Olinger in opposition. Mayor Chip Coleman and councilmen Jim Risner, Bobby Ryan, Dan Boring and Ben Phillips voted in favor of advertising the meals tax hike.
The council plans to finalize its decision on the meals tax at its May 14 regular meeting. Town residents will have a chance to give their input at the meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Culpeper County Administration Building.
Once the meals tax issue is decided, the council will consider whether or not to implement a one-cent real estate tax increase. The fiscal year 2014 budget will be finalized in June. It takes effect July 1.