Fishers asks to hike food-and-beverage tax

April 12, 2013
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Find a penny here and a penny there, and pretty soon you’ve got enough to spring for a vat of Diet Coke from McDonald’s—or to spur investment in a community.

The town of Fishers is aiming for the latter, asking state legislators to authorize a 1-percent food-and-beverage tax that could generate more than $1 million a year for economic development.

If House Bill 1070 is enacted, Town Council members would have until Dec. 31 to vet the idea with residents and decide whether to impose the tax. The legislation specifies that the proceeds could be used only for economic development purposes or to reduce the town’s property tax levy.

Hamilton County was one of the six counties surrounding Indianapolis that approved a 1-percent food-and-beverage tax eight years ago to help pay for construction of the $750 million Lucas Oil Stadium. Counties keep half the revenue and transfer the rest to Marion County’s Capital Improvement Board, which owns the stadium.

At the time, individual communities were given the option of instituting an additional 1-percent tax for their own use. Officials in Carmel, Noblesville and Westfield seized the opportunity, but Fishers decided not to participate. Until now.

The extra 1 percent added $1.6 million to city coffers in Carmel last year, according to the 2012 Indiana Handbook of Taxes, Revenue and Appropriations, and Noblesville brought in almost $1.3 million.

An analysis from the state Legislative Services Agency estimates Fishers could collect just over $1 million in 2014 and 2015.

As the town shifts its focus from residential development to commercial investment—and embarks on an ambitious plan to remake its downtown—every penny counts.

“We’re looking at a couple of projects where that money would be helpful,” said Town Manager Scott Fadness.

Town Council member Renee Cox said the additional revenue could be used for a variety of purposes, including economic development incentives and infrastructure improvements—“anything and everything that makes Fishers more attractive.”

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  • More info
    First, it would be helpful if you could include more, relevant information in the article. For instance, what is the current sales tax on drink/beverage in Fishers (and, for that matter, Noblesville, Carmel, etc.). That is not something, as the reader, that I should have to go research. Second, this statement is unclear: "An analysis from the state Legislative Services Agency estimates Fishers could collect just over $1 million in 2014 and 2015." Do they anticipate collecting $1m in 2014 and $1m in 2015 or $1m between those two years?
    • More info
      Thanks for the feedback, Fishers. To put it in terms I understand best, a $1 drink now costs $1.08 in Fishers with all applicable taxes. In Carmel, Noblesville and Westfield (and Indianapolis), it costs $1.09. The LSA estimates that extra penny would a little over $1 million each year in 2014 and 2015.
      • would raise
        The LSA estimates that extra penny would raise a little over $1 million each year in 2014 and 2015.
        • Enough is enough
          I live in Fishers, and I'd love to sometime see people in Fishers stand up and say 'enough is enough'. Whether it's for increasing taxes for new schools, increasing taxes for Lucas Oil Stadium, increasing taxes for this current proposal, I'm just tired of every time someone wants to up taxes in Fishers that the vast majority of people just get in line and say take as much as you want. Don't we pay enough taxes?? Let the town/city figure out how to do things within the framework they've already set up. One penny here and one penny there, and slowly but surely we get taxed to death. We already pay state taxes, local taxes (a couple of taxes that millions of people in the country currently don't pay), federal taxes, gasoline taxes, property taxes, etc., etc., etc. Let the government start living within its means just those of us with families need to do! I for one am tired of paying increased taxes, and at some point in time, people in Fishers and Hamilton County just need to say NO, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
        • Food & Beverage Tax
          Enough is enough, this is a bad idea. This era is about reigning in government spending rather than increasing taxes and spending more. Again, enough is enough.
        • About Lowering
          Don't be short sighted. Spurring commercial development, which produces Much higher property tax income per acre, lessens the burden on homeowners prop. taxes. This is a good move for homeowners.
        • sales tax rates
          In 2008 the Indiana sales tax rate was increased to 7%.

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        1. If I were a developer I would be looking at the Fountain Square and Fletcher Place neighborhoods instead of Broad Ripple. I would avoid the dysfunctional BRVA with all of their headaches. It's like deciding between a Blackberry or an iPhone 5s smartphone. BR is greatly in need of updates. It has become stale and outdated. Whereas Fountain Square, Fletcher Place and Mass Ave have become the "new" Broad Ripples. Every time I see people on the strip in BR on the weekend I want to ask them, "How is it you are not familiar with Fountain Square or Mass Ave? You have choices and you choose BR?" Long vacant storefronts like the old Scholar's Inn Bake House and ZA, both on prominent corners, hurt the village's image. Many business on the strip could use updated facades. Cigarette butt covered sidewalks and graffiti covered walls don't help either. The whole strip just looks like it needs to be power washed. I know there is more to the BRV than the 700-1100 blocks of Broad Ripple Ave, but that is what people see when they think of BR. It will always be a nice place live, but is quickly becoming a not-so-nice place to visit.

        2. I sure hope so and would gladly join a law suit against them. They flat out rob people and their little punk scam artist telephone losers actually enjoy it. I would love to run into one of them some day!!

        3. Biggest scam ever!! Took 307 out of my bank ac count. Never received a single call! They prey on new small business and flat out rob them! Do not sign up with these thieves. I filed a complaint with the ftc. I suggest doing the same ic they robbed you too.

        4. Woohoo! We're #200!!! Absolutely disgusting. Bring on the congestion. Indianapolis NEEDS it.

        5. So Westfield invested about $30M in developing Grand Park and attendance to date is good enough that local hotel can't meet the demand. Carmel invested $180M in the Palladium - which generates zero hotel demand for its casino acts. Which Mayor made the better decision?

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