Holyoke city council passes meals tax ordinance - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Holyoke city council passes meals tax ordinance

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HOLYOKE, MA (WSHM) -

The cost of eating out in Holyoke will increase now after the City Council voted and approved an ordinance on Tuesday night that will add a local meals tax to your bill.

Holyoke now joins a list of surrounding communities that use this tax. It adds about $0.75 to a $100 bill.

"When Holyoke residents are eating out in Northampton or Easthampton, Springfield, Chicopee, we are paying a meals tax that goes directly into the local community," said Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse.

"As with any tax increase, the argument is always it's just a little bit more. You won't even notice it," said City Councilor Linda Vacon. 

Vacon was just one of two councilors against the agenda item. She was joined by Council President Kevin Jourdain.

Others agreed with the mayor, that this is money that will be invested into the city, bringing in more than $500,000 a year.

"We really need to start thinking about where we will be making cuts," Morse said. 

One councilor was surprised Holyoke didn't already have this tax in place.

"For those who say they will stop going to restaurants in Holyoke then I will assume they will also stop going to restaurants in Chicopee, West Springfield, Springfield, South Hadley, Easthampton, Northampton, Southampton, Hadley, Amherst, Sunderland, Deerfield and Greenfield because those are the surrounding cities and towns that have this local options meals tax, and I think we all eat at one or more of those," said City Councilor Jossie Valentine. 

This local meals tax will be added to the 6.25 percent state sales tax already in place.

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