Mathews voters approved the referendum on creating a meals tax during Tuesday’s election, with 52 percent voting for it and 48 percent against.
Residents of the Westville and Piankatank districts supported the measure by nearly 52 percent each, while Chesapeake district voters rejected it by nearly 52 percent.
Perhaps the most surprising turn of events was the strong support the measure had from residents who had cast absentee ballots. The central absentee precinct, which returned a total of 1,108 votes on the meals tax, approved it 59 percent to 41 percent.
Overall, county residents approved the ballot initiative by a 258-vote margin (2,760 in favor to 2,502 against).
Mathews County Administrator Mindy Conner has projected that the 4 percent tax will raise at least $300,000 annually. Those funds will be earmarked for repairs, improvements and equipment for the fire department, rescue squad, sheriff’s office, schools and county that are too expensive to cover in the ope...
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