Restaurant industry critical of Chafee's tax proposal

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island's restaurant and hospitality industry is wasting no time denouncing Governor Lincoln Chafee's proposal to hike the restaurant meals and beverage tax by 2% to finance funding the state education formula.

Bob Bacon is co-owner of the Gregg's restaurant chain. He says raising this tax would put Rhode Island restaurants at a disadvantage with their competitors in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

"Massachusetts has a lower tax, Connecticut has a lower tax," Bacon says, "Maine has a lower tax..I don't know of one that would be at ten percent, meals and beverage and sales tax combined."

Bacon also says such a tax hike would likely hurt the state's convention business as conventioneers look for cheaper venues in neighboring states. Chafee says the meals tax increase is needed to pay for more aid to public schools.

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