- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 7, 2016

PETERSBURG, Va. (AP) - The Petersburg City Council has approved tax increases aimed at closing the city’s $12 million budget gap.

The seven-member council voted Tuesday to raise the lodging tax from 6 percent to 10 percent, the meals tax from 6 percent to 7 percent, the cigarette tax from 10 cents per pack to 90 cents and the monthly trash-removal fee from $14 to $20, local news organizations reported.

The council decided to defer a proposed personal property tax increase to the next meeting. The tax would have increased from $4.40 per $100 of assessed value to $4.90.

Vice Mayor Samuel Parham said that Gov. Terry McAuliffe made it clear that Petersburg must overcome the budget gap on its own, without financial assistance from the state.

“There will be no bailout for Petersburg,” Parham said.

Interim City Manager Dironna Moore Belton said that if the city didn’t free up cash flow, it wouldn’t be able to meet payroll and monthly debt-servicing obligations. She said the result would have been a shutdown of all city functions except public safety.

The new tax rates will take effect Oct. 1.

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