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Monroe County Council Divided Over 1 Percent Food And Beverage Tax

Last updated on Friday, August 16, 2013

(BLOOMINGTON) - The Monroe County Council appears to be divided after hearing from the public about the adoption of a 1 percent food and beverage tax to support an expansion of the convention center.

Jimmy Jenkins of WFIU reports, several community members spoke Tuesday night for and against the tax as a way to generate funds for the proposed $30 million project.

William Ellis is the Founder of Monroe County Citizens Against The Food and Beverage Tax and he supports a convention center expansion but not one funded through a food and beverage tax.

Ellis called the proposed 1 percent tax "regressive," saying it would hurt low-income residents. He says he'd rather see the project paid for out of the innkeepers tax.

Council Member Shelli Yoder says she remains undecided on the tax. But after hearing a great deal of opposition from constituents, she says an alternative revenue stream such as the innkeepers tax might be a good solution.

Yoder says she'll be working with local legislators to see if raising the innkeepers tax from 5 percent to 8 percent is possible before casting her final vote on the food and beverage tax next month.

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