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Mass. Legislators Propose Taxes On Restaurant Meals

This article is more than 10 years old.

Massachusetts cities and towns could soon be able to charge a two-percent tax on restaurant meals. A legislative commission is proposing the meals tax as a way for local governments to raise more money.

On top of the restaurant tax, cities and towns would be also able to raise the tax on hotel rooms from 4 percent now to 8 percent. The tax would apply to vacation home rentals.

But mayors and city managers won't get a tool many of them say would save them the greatest amount of money: the ability to design the health care plans of city and town employees.

"We did not grant unilateral plan design because the workers and their unions have certain rights that needed to be recognized," said Sen. Stan Rosenberg, one of the commission's chairmen. "That said, a deal will have to be struck."

The commission is proposing that cities and towns that have health insurance with unusually high premiums be forced to negotiate a new plan with their unions.

This program aired on May 6, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Fred Thys Twitter Reporter
Fred Thys reports on politics and higher education for WBUR.

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