BECKET — Voters at Saturday's annual town meeting rejected a local meals tax proposed by town officials and unanimously approved a plastic bag ban.

They also OK'd a $6,716,894 budget for the coming fiscal year.

Town officials had pursued a measure that would impose the 0.75 percent tax on meals prepared in the town's restaurants, as recommended by the state's Department of Revenue.

Restaurant owners who feared for the impacts of the proposed meals tax successfully swayed the will of the town, Select Board member Michael Lavery said. They also overwhelmingly approved a citizens petition he had filed to ban single-use plastic bags in the town.

Proponents said thin-film plastic checkout bags pollute natural resources, clog storm drainage systems, bog down solid waste collection and recycling facilities, and require the use of crude oil to produce.

Lavery said the budget passed with little discussion.

Amanda Drane can be contacted at, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296.