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Decision For A Proposed Food And Beverage Tax Could Come Wednesday

A final decision on a 1 percent food and beverage tax to fund an expansion of the Monroe County Convention Center could come this week.

The Monroe County Council will take the issue up at its meeting on Wednesday. The idea of a food and beverage tax to fund the expansion has been around for years.

The tax would apply to prepared foods, ranging from a more expensive sit down meal to fast food.

William Ellis is the Monroe County Republican Party Chairman. He says he doesn’t think there’s enough demand to justify the tax for the convention center expansion.

“Most of the tourism in Monroe County comes from IU, you are not seeing non-big 10 weekends or weeks with the hotels filled from the convention center," Ellis says.

Tax proponents cite data showing the convention center has to turn away more than half of the requests it receives because it’s not big enough. They called the expansion overdue.

Mayor John Hamilton and the Bloomington City Council have voiced support for the measure. The proposed expansion would cost around $70 million, half of which would be funded by the tax.

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