Some Find Gov.'s Meal Tax Hard To Swallow

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Gov. Deval Patrick will cut state aid to cities and towns by $128 million next week to help close a $1 billion budget deficit.

He also says he'll seek a one percent increase in the state meals tax.

WBUR's Frannie Carr reports.

The governor says a meals tax would generate $150 million for cities and towns.

But restaurants say they are already being hard hit by the down economy and an additional tax would be a crushing blow.

State Treasurer Tim Cahill agrees. He says a meals tax would be unfair and uneven.

"I just think it's the wrong time to be adding to the cost and its going to probably keep people from eating out, which is going to be counterproductive."

Next week, the Massachusetts Restaurant Association is planning to launch a campaign against the meals tax increase.

This program aired on January 23, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.