The Vigo County Council has begun considering a proposal to implement a 1 percent food and beverage tax. The council held a public hearing Monday on the proposal which, if passed, would help fund a new convention center in Terre Haute.
Our partners at WTHI-TV report the tax would apply to dine-in and fast food restaurants, in addition to some prepared items and catered food. Groceries, unprepared food, and catering services would not fall under the tax.
Aaron Loudermilk, president of the Vigo County Council, tells WTHI he supports the tax.
"I believe it’s the right thing to do," said Loudermilk. "It’s a necessary thing to do; it’s a necessary thing to progress our community and give our community more opportunities. The elected officials in Indianapolis do not just hand out the chance for food and beverage. So if we do not take full advantage, I’m afraid we’re not going to have those opportunities in the future."
Loudermilk adds the county does have a need for convention space and using the tax to build a new convention center could be the catalyst for a large economic boost for the county. "I think this is something that could benefit our community I think it’s something that will bring people here into our restaurants, into our hotels and support our local business owners, especially the ones downtown."
The tax has already received support from the Capital Improvement Board in Vigo County and the Terre Haute City Council. The Vigo County Council will hold a first reading on the ordinance Thursday, though a final vote will come at a later date.