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By Lisa Juszkiewicz, Director of the Municipal Databank


A review of revenues for this new local option shows that the first month of collections, or October alone, totaled $2,774,514. A preliminary review of revenues in November shows an additional $2.6 million collected.


Of the communities who initially adopted the local option meals excise, the City of Boston is the largest by population (and likely by relevant dining establishments). Of the approximately $2.7 million collected in October, $1,493,154.22 million came from and went back to Boston. The City of Cambridge had the second highest meals revenue collections in October with $256,811.97.

Worcester, our second largest city by population, came in with the third highest collections ($152,737.62) in October and the City of Springfield followed in fourth ($113,323.74). Of the 30 initial communities, the small, western Massachusetts Town of Sunderland collected the least at $2,640.08. That said, even in small communities, collections may amount to noteworthy new monthly revenue. Cities like Taunton, Northampton, and Somerville ranged from $42,138.59 to $45,874.59 to $60,854.69.


The new local option excise of .75 percent on the sale of restaurant meals originating within the municipality was created within the FY2010 state budget. To implement the new local option excise the municipality must accept MGL Ch 64L, section 2(a) by a majority vote of the local legislative body, subject to local charter.


For the local option excise to be effective October 1st a municipality needed to vote to accept the local option by August 31. As mentioned above, 30 municipalities accepted by the August 31 deadline and they received their first distribution on December 31. The December distribution was based on revenues generated on the sale of restaurant meals in October and reported to the Department of Revenue in November.


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Editor’s Correction: An earlier version of this article was posted with incorrect information in the first paragraph. The originally posted article stated, in the final clause of the first paragraph, that November’s revenues would, “be shared among the 66 communities who had adopted the local excise in time for a disbursement later this month.” However, only those first 30 communities who adopted the excise by August 31 are eligible for any disbursements at this time. The 36 communities who adopted the excise on or before Dec 1 will be eligible to collect January revenues beginning March 31. This error was due to a change by the editor and not the fault of the author.

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