- Las Vegas--9%
Our food and beverage tax of 9% is nothing to slouch at either. Another 6% tax is levied on car rentals. Collectively, those taxes raise more than $76 million annually in Marion County as follows:
- Food & Beverage--$36.3 million
- Innkeepers Tax--$36.2 million
- Car Rental Tax--$4.6 million
A secret plan hatched by the Ballard administration and shared with state lawmakers would hike these taxes 1%, generating $18 million from the food and beverage tax and $2 million from the innkeepers tax, still short by millions of what the CIB says it needs to close its budget gap. The food and beverage tax was doubled and the other taxes increased to pay for the Lucas Oil Stadium. When taxpayers adopted the original 1% food and beverage tax for the original dome, they were told the tax would disappear once the stadium was paid off. Instead, the tax has been made permanent, and the dome had a debt equal to its original $70 million cost when it was imploded in December to make way for the expanded convention center.
A lobbyist for the hospitality industry, John Livengood, warns that tax increases could have a negative impact on the local tourism industry. “That’s the one that haunts me; that’s the one that keeps me up at night,” said Livengood, executive director of the Restaurant & Hospitality Association of Indiana. “It just boggles my mind. I don’t get it.” "Meeting planners who often consider taxes when seeking convention sites could be dissuaded by Indianapolis’ costs, argued Livengood, who hopes the CIB will seek alternatives such as a ticket tax," Olson writes. "And not just tourists are affected," he adds. "Anyone who dines out would pay more, and if residents stop eating out, local restaurants suffer."
"Only the little pay people pay taxes," New York hotelier Leona Hemsley once quipped before she was charged and convicted of tax evasion. When will the little people rise up and demand that the billionaire Simons and Irsay pay their share of the costs of having these sports palaces? Haven't you paid enough already?