Citizens to weigh in on proposed Fishers food, beverage tax hike

If approved, tax would increase to 9 percent

FISHERS, Ind. - Customers could soon be paying more for a restaurant check or bar tab in Fishers, but not before the public has a chance to weigh in.

If passed by the Fishers Town Council, a food and beverage tax increase would bump the rate from 8 percent to 9 percent, which could mean an extra $1.2 million per year for the town.

Earlier this year, state lawmakers made it possible for towns like Fishers to impose the extra food and beverage tax with strings attached -- the money can only be used to cut homeowners' property taxes or for economic development.

Mike Bandor, the owner of Greek's Pizzeria, isn't sure that it's a good deal for his customers.

"I'm already running at 8 percent with all of the taxes I pay now," Bandor said. "With an additional 1 percent, it's just one more thing I have to pay, and it's tough with the way the economy is. One more percent doesn't sound like a lot, but it all adds up."

While there is opposition to the tax, supporters say it's OK as long as the money goes to the right places.

"If it goes to schools and the community and helps with the roads, then I'd be in favor of paying it," said Fishers resident Clayton Thompson. "But it depends on what kind of income you're bringing home as well."

Resident Pat Moyer echoed Thompson's opinion, saying it's not about the cost, but about how the money is spent.

"Honestly, I don't have a problem with it as long as it's not lining any politicians' pockets and actually goes toward something good for our schools, homes or community," Moyer said.
Fishers Town Council President John Weingardt spoke positively about the proposed tax hike.

"We look at this as another source, another way to be competitive with other communities for economic development if we choose to go that route," Weingardt said. "We can look at it as reducing the property tax levy for our citizens as well."

Two councilors RTV6 report Chris Proffitt talked with said they're undecided.

A public meeting about the proposal was scheduled for Tuesday night at 7.

The council will vote in early December, and if passed, the new tax goes into effect at the first of the year.

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