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Business Owners Discuss Impact of Rally on Sales

Posted: Updated: Oct 16, 2017 04:25 PM
Charlottesville's Downtown Mall Charlottesville's Downtown Mall
Sales have begun to pick back up again Sales have begun to pick back up again
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

A new report from the Charlottesville Commissioner of Revenue's Office shows what the financial impacts could be from the Unite the Right rally in August.

Since the rally on August 12, there have been reports of some people avoiding the Downtown Mall and Charlottesville altogether.

A new report released on Monday, October 16, shows that meal taxes in August were down 11 percent in Charlottesville .

While meal taxes were down, the report does show that sales taxes were up by two percent during that same period.

The Commissioner of Revenue's Office says it's hard to know just what the report indicates because of corrections and transfers.

Corrections are taxes paid to other localities that were meant for Charlottesville, while transfers are taxes paid to the city that were meant for other localities.

Business owners on the Downtown Mall have had mixed experiences in the aftermath of the rally.

“We haven't felt any effect at all,” says Anthony LaBua, owner of Chaps Ice Cream. “As a matter of fact, we knew what was coming and it kind of just blended right in with everything else.”

“Those two days alone - July 8 and August 12 - you know, put our losses at a pretty significant amount,” says MichaeI Rodi, owner of Rapture Restaurant and Nightclub. “I think when you add into that, that a lot of people have avoided coming downtown.”

Other business owners expressed similar feedback, but there’s a general consensus that sales are slowly starting to pick up again.

In addition to the corrections, officials say meal and sales taxes are sometimes paid late.

That could also alter the report.

The finance department uses the end of the following month as the cutoff for meal taxes.