Scottsville Town Councilors Consider 1% Increase in Meals Tax
SCOTTSVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - It could soon cost more to eat out in the town of Scottsville.
On Monday, April 15, town councilors discussed a potential increase in the meals tax for the first time ever in Scottsville.
Scottsville town councilors are looking at a potential 1% raise in the meals tax to bring it from 4% to 5% for next fiscal year, but some business owners say it could do more harm than good.
“Most of our budget goes toward supporting our town staff and our capital resources, which includes our flood control system,” Laura Mellusi, Scottsville’s vice mayor, said.
Scottsville councilors are weighing a proposal to bring up the meals tax by one percentage point.
“The council is proposing that the increase would go directly into the flood control system, so that way it’s capital maintenance and improvement,” Mellusi said.
Mellusi says the town has never raised the meals tax before, and that funding the town's flood control system is a top priority.
“Without that flood wall, we would be flooded every time the river raised on the James," Mellusi said.
But some restaurant owners are not on board.
“An increase of taxes does not put dollars in the bank for me,” Spencer Marshall, who owns Tavern on the James, said.
Marshall says the increase could hurt his bottom line.
"I feel like if we fiddle with this tax increase we're going to be messing with my business anyway - it’s going to be messing with what I can do and the success of the tavern,” Marshall said.
Others say it could drive customers away.
“I think it’s taking away from the attractiveness of Scottsville,” Donita Seal who’s with Luv 'N Oven, said. “We are trying our very best to bring business into our businesses and it’s not easy."
Town councilors say that since the town only has about 600 people who actually live there, the increase would mostly impact people who live outside of town limits.
“All of our businesses are supported by 15,000 people from Fluvanna County, from Buckingham County, from Nelson County, as well as Albemarle County - so it seemed like a fair option to spread the support for the town,” Mellusi said.
Town councilors will discuss this topic again at their next meeting and will vote on the budget, which includes the proposed meals tax increase, before June 30.