Opponents of meal tax hike dump tea in the river

PROVIDENCE, RI – More than 60 people turned out Wednesday for a Tea Party-style protest of a proposed hike in the state meal and beverage tax.

The Rhode Island Hospitality Association organized the rally at WaterPlace Park near downtown Providence. The association's head, Dale Venturini says raising the tax from 8 to 10 percent is a big hit for restaurants and other businesses.

"This is a 25 percent increase. I don't know about any of you, but 25 percent increase - we can't raise our prices with a 25 percent increase," says Venturini. "None of us have received raises to that amount."

Governor Lincoln Chafee proposed the tax as a way to boost funding for schools, but says he hopes that growing state revenues will make the proposed tax hike unnecessary.

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