COMPLETE COVERAGE: Latest on desperate search to find missing college student
Sept. Festival Guide: Food, food, beer, fido and exercise

Is Henrico County’s meals tax website breaking the law?

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – A referendum appearing on November’s ballot that would create a meals tax is a controversial topic in Henrico County.

If passed by voters a $10 meal would cost about 40 cents more.

The divisive issue has gotten even more controversial after a new website launched over the last couple days.

The county hired an outside firm to create the website for $20,000.

The concern for some is that Henrico County is breaking Virginia Code by creating a website that advocates for passage of an issue.

“It looks like propaganda to me,” Ken Richards, a Henrico resident, said when CBS 6 showed him the site.

The concern for some is that Henrico County is breaking Virginia Code by creating a website that advocates for passage of an issue.

While the site repeatedly says “It’s your decision” and tells voters how restaurant eaters would be affected, it also features statements saying what would happen if it doesn’t pass. Those statements include an interview with the county manager telling viewers taxes would go up and services cut if it fails to pass.

“Is this website advocating a position?” CBS 6 reporter Joe St George asked County Supervisor Pat O’Bannon.

“No absolutely not, it is informative,” O’Bannon said.

O’Bannon said the county needed a website created by a private firm because they laid off various information officers in the past.

“We formerly had someone in our public information office that would of done that website, but we had to hire another firm,” O’Bannon said.

The Henrico County attorney told CBS 6 he reviewed it before it went live, believing the site is fair and legal.

O’Bannon emphasized that no county leader wants to raise taxes, but most support the meals tax because if it doesn’t pass Henrico budget cuts would be severe.

What do you think of the website? Does the site informs or does it advocate a position. Leave a comment below.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,591 other followers