County response to proposed food and beverage tax increase

Allen County Indiana  food and beverage tax

A news release from the Allen County Board of Commissioners regarding the City of Fort Wayne’s food and beverage proposal.

Allen County Commissioners Commitment to Bar and Restaurant Industry

Fort Wayne, Indiana (January 28, 2021) — The Allen County Board of Commissioners are not promoting an increase to the Food and Beverage Tax or supporting a provision that would allow Fort Wayne and/or municipalities within Allen County to opt-in.

The commissioners have provided the following statement to clarify concerns on a Fort Wayne Food and Beverage Tax:

“This is not a priority of the Allen County Board of Commissioners and we’re not advocating for an additional Food and Beverage Tax in the Indiana General Assembly. We have received concerns from local restaurateurs and leaders of municipal fiscal bodies within Allen County and we’re fully committed to supporting our small business owners including those in the bar and restaurant industry to emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever before.”

Last month, the Commissioners and the city of Fort Wayne partnered with GFW to create a grant program of $1 million in federal CARES Act dollars to support local businesses in response to the pandemic. This grant was utilized by multiple restaurants within Allen County that were struggling to stay open.

Last week, the Commissioners met with local restaurateurs and Dr. Sutter (Allen County Health Department) to discuss the effects of COVID-19 on the local restaurant industry. This meeting was productive and a collaborative effort to ensure long-term sustainability of the restaurant industry in Allen County/Fort Wayne, Indiana.

In 1986, a Food and Beverage Tax was adopted by the Allen County Council after they received authority from the Indiana General Assembly. Traditionally, any Food and Beverage Tax that is approved by the Indiana General Assembly must have widespread community support and a specific need for the tax. Presently, the Commissioners have not heard any evidence of widespread support for this measure.

Read related AFW posts on the City of Fort Wayne’s 2021 Allen County Supplemental Food and Beverage tax increase proposal.

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