The Greensboro City Council has been talking behind closed doors about a restaurant tax, more properly called a prepared food tax, for months.
City Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter said the words “prepared food tax” at the May 9 City Council work session and she received mostly favorable responses from her fellow councilmembers. Before Abuzuaiter took the plunge and told everyone what the City Council was actually discussing, the term “new revenue streams” had been tossed around for a while. So now you know, “new revenue stream” is the code word for a restaurant tax.
It appears the majority of the City Council is in favor of an additional tax on prepared food. The definition in the state statute of “prepared food” is lengthy, convoluted and confusing, but basically it covers all food and beverages purchased ready to eat, whether from a sit down restaurant, a food truck or a concession stand, and whether it is eat-in or take-out doesn’t make any difference.
The City Council sees the restaurant tax as providing more money for it to spend and it appears the council would be willing to pass a prepared food tax – if it could. But the North Carolina legislature, in its wisdom, has not given municipalities and counties the authority to impose a prepared food tax. Only the legislature has that authority.
And if you don’t like the idea of more taxes, the good news is that right now the Greensboro City Council is not popular in the state legislature.
Republicans have a veto-proof majority in both the state House and Senate. Since the Greensboro City Council consists of eight Democrats and one Republican, there is some natural animosity there. However, the Greensboro City Council also likes to pass resolutions opposing bills in the legislature that are supported by most legislators. These resolutions don’t have any effect on the legislation, but they do serve to make the Greensboro City Council even more unpopular in Raleigh.
Just last month the City Council passed a resolution opposing a bill to create civil service boards for Greensboro and Winston-Salem. Nobody from the Greensboro City Council went to any of the public hearings on the bill because – despite having a full-time employee to keep them informed of what is happening in the legislature – they didn’t know about the public hearings. Instead the City Council passed a resolution in opposition to the bill.
So the City Council doubled down on its already bad reputation. It didn’t impress the legislators that the Greensboro City Council didn’t bother to send anyone to Raleigh to speak for or against a bill that would amend the City Charter, and then, having missed the public hearings and the vote in the state House, to pass resolution opposing the bill reinforced the opinion in Raleigh that the City Council doesn’t know what it’s doing.
So the fact that the City Council appears to be in favor of a restaurant tax, doesn’t make a whole lot of difference, what matters is if the legislature which has been cutting taxes for over ten years, suddenly does an about-face and decides that Greensboro needs more taxes.
There is not any tax they don’t love! In light of the major tax increase they put on EVERYONE who owns property with failing to follow the law after revaluation, they should all be ousted! Thankfully the legislature has some controls on municipalities like ours!
Betting the east greensboro socialists city council will continue to look for ridiculous ways to tax the citizens and then whiz it away on pet and useless projects. I hope Raleigh continues to bash this pitiful bunch . I still don’t understand why the same no nothings are reelected….whoa, sorry, I do understand.
If you think they are socialists, then you don’t know what socialism is. And this is coming from a former socialist. They are deep, deep in capitalist pockets.
They may prosper from capitalism, but they want to impose socialist rules and policies on to the rest of us.
Wisdom indeed! Thank heavens for our current legislature.
Why? Why do you need another tax? You raised property taxes 30% on top of reassessments last year. My house payment went up $150 a month to cover escrow. Show me what you are doing with all of the NEW revenue you got from your citizens, rich and poor, last year. Don’t even whisper another tax when you haven’t shown the citizens how you’ve spent our increased house payments and rents! PROVE YOU NEED IT.
I have tried to support this Council and for the most part I do, but things like this, cutting the police and fire budgets make no sense for the third largest city in North Carolina. Prove your spending. Prove your funding needs. Review your services and budget. Citizens had to do that with the 30% increase. It’s time the City Council did it. And use and outside source. Larry has been there forever and knows how to move the numbers around.
Hahahahahahaha. Maybe their lobbyist-city employee can convince the state to pass the tax.
Is it just me or does it seem the City Council is just wasting time? I can name a plethora of concerns that have been long overlooked if they’re looking to make a difference here in Guilford County.
They always have time to consider new “revenue streams”.
Greensboro is competing with other communities…,do they have the tax and how are the using it? If they have it and it hurts Greensboro’s ability to compete GSO should look at it.
Do not give it to the City Council but control it like the hotel occupancy tax. Should be used for economic development.
I agree. The City Council will be getting plenty of money as the new higher tax bills are paid.
Mandate Mayor needs revenue to float the 100 million dollar Performance Arts Palace and keep her grifters grifting.
Yeah, sure, because inflation hasn’t gone up enough, and the costs of everyday items for us normal folks, including restaurant food, hasn’t risen enough – yeah, let’s throw some more taxes on the taxpayers, who can still afford luxuries like food.
The woman whose job it is to keep the council apprised of developments in Raleigh is clearly incompetent (Caesar-Crawford?).
What is she doing all day?
How did she get the job, and more pertinently, what did she do to get it?
What is her relationship with the City Manager, who gave her the job?
No to the Tax. The coliseum needs to pay for themselves, or cut Matt Brown’s salary.
just curious, did the other cities bypassed the constituents, as this council seems so eager to do, or, did they put it to a referendum for the citizens to decide? I believe we should have a say as to whether or not we want to keep on paying for Matt Brown’s follies / poor financial projections
interesting that, according to this article, each time a referendum was required by the legislative assembly, the constituents voted it down…
The city council seems to be run by indoctrinated children party hacks, in adult bodies.
What needs to be on the city council are people in the trades; people with education in civics, finance, economics, marketing, contracting, etc. People who know what they are doing.
Abuzuaiter must no longer be in the restaurant business
Greensboro could become the next Flint Michigan with the incompetent leaders we have.
Most people didn’t bother to vote in the last local elections, so we have taxation without representation. It is time for another Tea Party.
Throw the bums out!