Meal tax proposed in Jacksonville, restaurant owners fight back

Meal Tax Proposed (KTVL/Sarina Sandoval)

A five-percent meal tax applied to every restaurant in Jacksonville could be seen on the November ballot.

Starting in July, every resident in the city of Jacksonville will be paying an extra $20 on their water bill to fund police service.

Restaurant Owner, Michael Kell, says three Jacksonville residents did not want to pay the extra $20.

"They would rather fund the police service by charging an additional five-percent to everyone who dined at Jacksonville," Kell said.

Co-owner of Bella Union Restaurant, Christian Hamilton, says the five-percent tax can possibly take them out of business.

"It put's us at a disadvantage to our competitors that are just a few miles outside of Jacksonville," Hamilton said.

He says there are about 13 family owned restaurants in Jacksonville and his solution, is to not to have a meal tax.

"I'm not opposed to paying my portion, I just don't think we should be penalizing our guests for coming in here," Hamilton said.

He says the city council has already opposed the meal tax.

News 10 tried reaching out to individuals who were in favor of the tax, but they have yet to respond.

Petitions to get the tax on the November ballot will be going out Friday.

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