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Monroe County Council Considers Food And Beverage Tax

The council discussed a proposal for a one percent food and beverage tax on Monroe County restaurants Tuesday.

pasta dish in a bowl

Photo: Jessica.Tam (Flickr)

The proposed tax will be leveraged on prepared food and beverage.

The Monroe County Council had the second hearing Tuesday on a proposal to place a one percent food and beverage tax on Monroe County restaurants. The proposed money will go to the Bloomington Convention Center.

Council President Geoff McKim says the convention center is a publicly owned building and there is a demand to serve large conferences. He says the tax depends on what kind of restaurants people are choosing.

“The thing you have to realize is that because it’s one percent on prepared food and beverage, if the restaurant and bar bill are lower, than the amount of tax payer are gonna be lower,” McKim says.

Bloomington businessman David Shuee says the proposal is being overstated.

“It’s not convincing that we are really gonna have a whole lot of benefit out of this, the convention center market is overblown, it’s over competitive, it’s over built,” Shuee says.

Mckim says the proposal would also create more jobs.

However, Bloomington resident Brandt Downey says this would prevent people from going to the restaurants and eventually hurt the economy.

“I think it will generally hurt business, it will hurt certainly the lower pay people,” Downey says. “And I think possibly keep the middle income folks from eating out as much as they might before, just because another one percent is another one percent.”

McKim says the final vote is still not counted yet, several more meetings may be held over the next few months.

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