Bloomington Chamber Backs Food & Beverage Tax

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The 24,000-square-foot convention center currently accommodates up to 800 people. The 24,000-square-foot convention center currently accommodates up to 800 people.

A proposed 1 percent food and beverage tax in Monroe County has gained additional support. The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce says it is backing the tax, which would be used for the expansion of the Monroe Convention Center in downtown Bloomington.

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton expressed his support for the measure last month. He says the tax would generate $17 million annually.

The Bloomington City Council also passed a resolution supporting the tax, saying an expanded convention center would "significantly enhance" the facility's economic and civic benefits. The resolution says the convention center's current size prevented 40 groups from potentially locating events in Bloomington.

"Expanding the Convention Center will create new jobs, strengthen and grow our local economy, and increase the vibrancy of our downtown," said Anne Bono, interim chief executive officer of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. "While the Chamber is supportive, we remain committed to vetting any final proposed project, financial projections and project partners to ensure that the tax is used in a fiscally responsible and impactful way."

The chamber says the Monroe County Council is expected to take action on the proposal at its December 13 meeting.

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