Senate OKs bill to allow food, beverage tax in three Indy suburbs

Three central Indiana municipalities would be allowed to collect a food and beverage tax under a bill that is advancing in the Indiana General Assembly.

The Indiana Senate on Monday approved Senate Bill 109, which would allow Greenwood, Whitestown and Danville to impose a food and beverage tax of up to 1 percent.

The tax would have the biggest impact in Greenwood, where it could generate $2.5 million in 2020 and $2.6 million in 2021, according to an analysis from the Legislative Services Agency.

In Whitestown, the tax could generate about $223,400 in 2020 and $233,800 in 2021; in Danville it could generate $224,000 in 2020 and $236,600 in 2021.

Greenwood and Danville officials recently passed resolutions requesting the ability to levy the tax. Whitestown then piggybacked on their requests.

A 1 percent food and beverage tax is already charged in the counties the three municipalities are located within—Boone County, Johnson County and Hendricks County—so the total rate would be increased to 2 percent in those communities.

Many other Indianapolis suburban communities collect the  1 percent tax, including Carmel, Noblesville, Plainfield, Avon, Zionsville and Westfield. Hamilton County also has a 1 percent food and beverage tax.

In Marion County, a 2 percent food and beverage tax applies.

The governing bodies in Whitestown, Danville and Greenwood would need to approve ordinances imposing the tax before any revenue could be collected.

The bill would also allow White County to expand its 5 percent innkeeper’s tax to resorts. The tax already applies to hotels, tourist cabins and campgrounds. It’s unknown how much additional revenue this could generate.

Indianapolis Republican Jack Sandlin authored the bill, which passed 38-11. It moves to the House for consideration.

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