Chesterfield, Henrico launch meals tax websites

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Mark your calendars for November- that's the message from Henrico County and Chesterfield County. Both have launched websites for voters, helping them sort through the issues that will appear on the November ballot.

"It's a straight-forward question choice. And a difficult choice that our residents have," says County Manager John Vithoulkas in a video to residents.

Henrico County pulled out all the stops on its website - complete with music and pictures. The roughly $20,000 investment is intended to answer questions and help voter understand what choices will be on the table in November.

Henrico County is putting forth a 4% meals tax, from which they hope to pay for needs in the school system. Without one, the video implies the county would need to make deep cuts or consider raising the real estate tax.

Across town in Chesterfield, this website recently popped up. Officials say they built it in-house, paying about 20-some dollars for the domain. County officials hope it will make it easier for residents to do their research from home.

"This is a major initiative for Chesterfield County, and at the end of the day, we think the input of the citizens is very valuable," said Allan Carmody, Director of Chesterfield County's Budget Office. "We really value their input."

In Chesterfield, the county wants voters to consider a 2% meals tax that would pay for public safety and school improvements. Voters can vote to make the improvements without the tax, or choose one or none. But if the referendums pass and the meals tax doesn't, cuts would have to come from somewhere else.

"We don't claim to know all and I think garnering that info from our citizenry is always helpful," said Carmody.

He went on to say County officials will personally meet with your organization to explain the voting options, if you just set up a time. All that information is on the website.

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