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How Much Revenue Has The Local Meals Excise Tax Brought In?

A Tewksbury Patch reader wanted to know when Tewksbury adopted the excise tax and if it has been profitable.

Question: When did Tewksbury voters adopt the excise tax on meals? I don't remember it. When did it go into effect and how much revenue has it brought in?

Answer: The reader is talking about the .75 percent local excise tax on meals at local restaurants. The excise tax, which is on top of the state's 6.25 percent meals tax, amounts to about 15 cents on a $20 meal bill.

For the answers to the reader's questions, we turned to Tewksbury Finance Director Karen Shree Kucala. According to Kucala, the town received three payments from the State Department of Revenue for the meals excise tax during FY 12 and one so far during FY 13.

Here is her complete response:

"The Town Adopted MGL c.64L ss 2(a) at the 2011 ATM on 5-2-11. The local excise, which is imposed in addition to the 6.25 percent state sales tax on meals, takes effect on the first day of the calendar quarter following thirty days after acceptance by the city or town or on the first day of a later calendar quarter that the city or town may designate…” 

Therefore, it became effective 7-1-2011 and the town received the following fees to date:

(FY12) 9-30-11            36,819.45

(FY12) 3-29-12          108,752.45

(FY12) 6-28-12          107,228.53

          Total FY12      252,800.43

(FY13) 9-27-12          126,250.04

So, according to Kucala, the grand total brought in by the meals excise tax thus far is $379,050.47.

Rick M December 18, 2012 at 01:29 PM
So the meals tax has been keeping the south fire house open with money to spare, makes me wanna go out to dinner to celebrate!
john smith December 18, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Sounds like a future for the south side of town to me. Why not spend the meals tax revenue that way every year to ensure the entire town has emergency protection? A good solution to a major problem facing our town. No excuses now Tewksbury, open the fire house.
malcolm nichols December 18, 2012 at 06:43 PM
does that work out to be $50,000,000 worth of meals in the last 4 quarters?
Who Me? December 18, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Forty Million Dollars spent on meals in this Town? Really???
LMA December 19, 2012 at 02:39 AM
Do the amounts given reflect the 6.25% and the .75% together? That seems more reasonable. I can't imagine that people spent 40 million on meals last year in Tewksbury.
Bill Gilman (Editor) December 19, 2012 at 02:50 AM
over the course of two years .... with ALL the restaurants in town, including McDonald's, Burger King etc .... yeah i can see that.
Bill Gilman (Editor) December 19, 2012 at 02:50 AM
No, those numbers are based solely on .75 percent.
malcolm nichols December 19, 2012 at 12:23 PM
biil, 4 quarters makes 1 whole. just kidding
Steve Magplate December 19, 2012 at 12:25 PM
The total is for 1 year and equals $34 million, or a little over $1,000 per person in town per year. Seems reasonable to me.
LMA December 19, 2012 at 12:40 PM
I had no idea that much was spent. Thanks for the clarification!
bill meuse December 20, 2012 at 09:42 PM
geez, i wonder which glass of our fine diners can afford to eat out? it certainly is not is the lower or lower middle class tax payers who live in this town. i must have missed the article on cutting the budget or did i miss the notice that states that our tax rate will be lowed. i do know that our taxes have gone up over a two year period by at least $150.00. that went on to our mortgage, escrow, which we cannot afford. now i read that the town fathers started a committee to repair or build four elementary schools. please stop raising our taxes. CUT THE BUDGET! LOWER OUR TAXES.

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