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Fishers passes food and beverage tax to help fund event center

Fishers Food and Beverage Tax.png
Posted at 8:06 PM, Oct 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-11 20:06:41-04

FISHERS — Going out to eat and drink in Fishers is going to cost you a little more, but it's all for the sake of economic development. The city passed a one percent food and beverage tax at its Monday night city council meeting.

"This is for prepared food,” Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness said. “So, if you are going out to a restaurant, if you are eating a prepared meal, or if there is an alcoholic beverage thing of those nature — that one percent would apply to those types of purchases."

Those new tax dollars will go directly toward the debt service payments for the Fishers Event Center. It’s part of a $550 million economic development that will relocate the Indy Fuel from the Indiana Farmer's Coliseum to Fishers. The investment is something that the mayor believes will not only drive economic development but also engage the community.

"They can visualize their kids walking across the stage for graduation finally in their own community,” Fadness said. “Playing their home rival basketball game there. I think when they can understand that, they seem to support it. “

The one percent tax would equal out to about one extra dollar for every $100 you spend. While some say paying more in taxes is never great, the people we talked to are fine with paying a little more if it benefits the growth of the community.

"Having a new event center here would be good for everybody,” Laurie Eynon, a Fishers resident, said. “It would be good for all the businesses and the people that live here. More choices, more restaurants, more venues. It will become a hipper place to live. “

"As a proponent of youth sports and sports in general, I think it's great,” Laura Rogers, who visits Fishers frequently, said. “Anything that can bring folks into our community is a wonderful opportunity."

Restaurant owners were also on board with the decision to add a food and beverage tax. The owners of Parks Place Pub in Fishers signed off the tax. They feel it will benefit the community in the long run, even if it will cost their customers a little extra money.

"I think this was the least burdensome for the community,” Matt Schlueter, the Co-Owner of Parks Place Pub, said. “The majority of the people who will pay the food and beverage tax aren't going to be local citizens; it will be people passing through. "

The food and beverage tax goes into effect on Dec. 1. As for when we can expect the event center to be built, the city says they hope that it will be finished by 2024.

The city of Fishers also passed a property tax cut. The mayor says on a home that is worth around $350,000, homeowners will receive about an $18 reduction in their yearly property tax bill.

The mayor also claims Fishers has the lowest municipal property tax rate of the 10 largest cities in Indiana. He says the reason they can drive the tax rate down is that they are a growing community.