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Mathews voters turn down meals tax

Mathews County voters turned down a meals tax by a nearly two-to-one margin in a referendum on the issue during Tuesday’s election.

Of the 3,360 voters who cast votes in the referendum, 2,122 voted against the measure, said assistant registrar Ruth Ann Hutson, while 1,238 voted for it.

O.J. Cole, vice chairman of the Mathews County Board of Supervisors, said he wasn’t particularly surprised at the result.

“A meals tax is traditionally difficult to pass the first time around,” he said. “The people spoke, and that’s why you go with a referendum.”

A meals tax “is just a way to share the discomfort,” said Cole, adding, “we all have to pitch in to make things work.”

While lack of an additional source of revenue for the county’s budget isn’t a real problem at the moment, he said, it could be in the future.

The board’s newest member, Jack White, projected that there will be a budget challenge after the n...

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