Proposed meal tax fails vote in Anderson County

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ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A proposed hospitality meal tax failed after a 2nd vote with the Anderson County Council Tuesday night.

After weeks of town halls, council member Tom Allen says he thinks they’ve heard the people loud and clear.

“I could go on for hours on the reasons they don’t want it, but mainly they just don’t want another tax,” Allen explained.

The proposed tax would have added 2 percent on the bill for prepared meals and drinks. The money would have gone to projects expected to improve tourism.

“That is the reason we needed to have the town hall meetings,” said Allen. “We are representatives of the people and we have to listen to what all the people have to say.”

At the first reading the meal tax passed with a 4 to 3 vote. At the 2nd reading, it failed with a 4-2 vote. Allen says that’s because 80 percent of residents that showed up for the town halls expressed they didn’t like where the money was going and weren’t sure it was needed in the first place.

Council member Cindy Wilson told 7 News she voted against the tax because she believes it is flawed legislation. She said she voted against it in the first reading too.

The negative feedback is toppling the positive, according to Councilman Allen. That’s why he didn’t expect the same results on the vote this time around.

“It has so many warts as I have said. There are just so many problems with it,” he added.

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