School advocates to meet over proposed meal tax increase

Updated: Feb. 7, 2018 at 6:36 AM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The debate surrounding the proposed meals tax to increase school funding is being taken directly to one of the schools the tax is designed to improve.

Public education advocates will meet Wednesday at George Wythe High School. They in favor of the new tax, but still believe it falls short of meeting the infrastructure needs of Richmond Public Schools.

Mayor Levar Stoney has proposed a 1.5 percent increase to the existing meals tax in Richmond.

Advocates say decades of deferred maintenance to the schools have created unsafe and unhealthy learning environments. However, some restaurant owners say it will hit them hardest, including many on Broad Street that are already hurting because of construction that has blocked the entrance to their businesses for months.

There's also a new push for a compromise that would allow the tax to expire after five years. One councilwoman wants to add that provision to allow for a review of whether the tax should be continued for the long term.

Stoney said he's not a fan of that proposal.

There could be a vote on the tax as early as Monday.

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