The Haymarket Town Council has tentatively agreed to a levy a new tax on the approximately 80 businesses in the town, beginning in July.

If approved, it would be the town's first new tax or tax increase in more than 10 years. The tax is figured into the town's proposed $166,500 budget for fiscal 1991.

The proposed tax of 10 cents per $100 of the business's gross receipts would help pay for the proposed 45 percent spending increase in the town of 450, which is starting to feel pressure from encroaching development.

The increases would pay for a part-time town manager, a second police officer and $15,000 of $500,000 in needed improvements to sidewalks.

After a year, the council would re-examine the proposed gross receipts tax and would "adjust as necessary," said Mayor Terri Freeborn, explaining that "you can't get much lower than {a tax rate of} 10 cents."

After a June 11 public hearing on the budget, the council is scheduled to vote on the proposal by June 18. The public hearing begins at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall.

The budget proposal was drawn up in a council work session last week. Council members James Gossom and Richard Bird, who oppose any new taxes or tax increases, did not attend. Freeborn left in the middle of the meeting because of illness.

The proposed tax would raise about $29,200, increasing the business community's contribution to the town's budget from about 2 percent of the current $114,370 budget to nearly 18 percent next fiscal year. The businesses, including 30 to 40 wholesale used car dealers, pay an annual $25 business license fee and personal property taxes to Prince William County.

"I think the businesses will begrudgingly accept" the proposed tax, said Steven Woodside, secretary/treasurer of the Haymarket-Gainesville Business and Merchants Association. He said he thinks it's time the business community made more of a contribution to the budget, but the town's proposed spending increases should be more moderate.

The budget maintains the real estate tax of 14 cents per $100 of assessed value and 60 cents per $100 of assessed value for personal property. Residents also pay county real estate and personal property taxes.