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Food and beverage tax progresses; new convention center in sight

Governor Eric Holcomb officially signed the food and beverage tax for Vigo County. That means it's now up to the County Council to approve it. It’s a 1% tax increase at restaurants, bar and hot bars in Vigo County.

Posted: Jun. 6, 2018 9:06 AM
Updated: Jun. 6, 2018 9:18 AM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Governor Eric Holcomb officially signed the food and beverage tax for Vigo County. That means it's now up to the County Council to approve it.

It’s a 1% tax increase at restaurants, bar and hot bars in Vigo County.

Let's say your family spends $20 at a restaurant. This new tax would add 20 cents to your bill.

County leaders plan to use the money to build a new convention center in downtown Terre Haute. Plans are still in the early development phases. A location has not been set.
News 10 spoke with Rachel Leslie, who owns the lobbying firm who worked on this bill with Senator Jon Ford. She says customers are already paying a similar tax in 28 counties in Indiana. That’s about a quarter of the state.

She says the county is losing out of vital visitors because of the lack of venue. Leaders like President Dottie King at Saint-Mary-Of-The-Woods College are asked to host large events for some of their programs.

But she says she can't host because there's not enough space or hotels. This is one example, according to Leslie, of how the economy could change with this new tax and in turn the new convention center.

Senator Jon Ford expects this tax to generate about $2 million each year.

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