The City of Greensboro often makes requests of Guilford County government for cooperation on a wide variety of issues.
The latest such discussion – still in the very early stages – could lead to the city asking the county for help in implementing a prepared food tax.
That would be a new tax on dine-in and take-out food and drinks sold at restaurants and bars in Greensboro. The new tax would be over and above the sales tax currently charged on restaurant meals and related food items.
Sources in Guilford County government said that City of Greensboro leaders have initiated conversations to explore the willingness of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners to allow Greensboro to levy a prepared food tax in order to help the city pay the costs of the Steven Tanger Center and similar entertainment and nightlife initiatives.
The move would require Greensboro to get cooperation from the NC General Assembly and the Guilford County commissioners.
NC House Majority Whip Jon Hardister said on Thursday, Jan. 26, that he had “caught wind” of some initial discussions between the city and the county but said he had not received any requests for action by the state legislature.
“I have not had any official discussions,” Hardister said.
Hardister also said it was his understanding that, when a city would like to implement a prepared food tax, one option is for the city council to vote to put the matter on the ballot.
Another option, he said, is for the city to request for the NC General Assembly to grant the county’s Board of Commissioners the option of voting the tax into existence without putting the matter on a ballot.
Advocates of the prepared food tax say it has raised significant money in other large cities in the state and has helped support important entertainment and nightlife projects that in turn get more people out to restaurants.
Former Guilford County Commissioner Justin Conrad, who runs a restaurant supply business, said on Thursday that he was aware of the move by the city and he added that he was greatly disturbed by this initiative. He said he was totally opposed to it.
Conrad stepped down as a Guilford County commissioner in early December after serving two terms, but he said an attempt such as this is nearly enough to get him back into politics just so he can fight it.
Conrad, a conservative Republican, served on the Board of Commissioners for years with Carolyn Coleman, a very liberal commissioner who passed away one year ago.
“There were a whole lot of things we disagreed on,” Conrad said, “But on this we saw 100 percent eye to eye.”
During her two decades on the board, Coleman spoke out frequently about the evils of regressive taxes like food taxes that she said were huge burdens on families already struggling to pay the bills.
Conrad said that struggling families often have no choice but to eat out or get takeout.
He also said it’s not right to make an end-run around the voters.
“If you want the tax, put it on the ballot,” Conrad said, adding that he believes city leaders don’t see that as an option because area residents have shown that they will vote down a sales tax increase every time it shows up on the ballot.
Wasn’t Tanger center fully endowed by the Kathy Manning led fundraising efforts? The rest was to be financed with VIP parking at city events and the hotel tax that is supported by the (empty) coliseum programming? If the Tanger is such a success why would Mandate Mayor pitching a tax on FOOD that would 100 percent affect the least among us most. The city has already had a hand in closing or crippling private music venues for years (Bostons house of Jazz, Aces Basement, Blind Tiger, and now Cone Denim) and now that the competition has been removed Mandate Mayor wants all entertainment options to be government run?
The same Kathy Manning that sold us down the river with the Hebrew Academy so the feds can house more illegals in a residential neighborhood of expensive homes? The parking lots are full every day.
What we have here is a failure to communicate with our elected officials in the county and city. This country was founded on the principle of no taxation without representation and that’s what we have now both at the local and federal level. Our officials are so out of touch with the real needs and the cost to just live today, they are all a very shameful lot. It’s time to do some housecleaning folks. We as taxpayers need to band together and take back control of our country.
Restaurants already struggle with huge price increases for food, utilities, and higher wages that are passed on to the customer . The lack of staff is contributing to poor service and longer waits. 20% plus minimum tips are expected plus 6.75% sales tax and a prepared food tax on top of all of this?
What are they thinking??
How many different ways are we going to pay for rich people to go see Broadway plays and overpriced concerts? How many times were we told this would not be a burden on the middle class and poor people of Greensboro? Liars and frauds. Every single one of these City Council members. Keep voting these a-holes in-I will be gone in a few years-just waiting on retirement.
The point of investing in these entertainment centers is to increase tax revenue by increasing business revenue. With the Tanger Center this has occurred based on early figures released by the City last year. So, on top of increased sales revenue (and therefore taxes), they now want to also increase the rate?! Guess the blood they sucked from the increased property tax just fed the addiction.
Restaurants…now is the time for all good eateries to come to anywhere but GSO.
The time has come for the City Council to pay the piper. Or more specifically the citizens of GSO and anybody else who wants to patronize a nice restaurant in town, all to pay for the Steven Tanger Center and other businesses they have promised who know what to get them to build in the city.
If the Tanger Center can’t meet it’s obligations then why is the city trying to help pay their bills, and does this mean other businesses can ask for taxpayer money to bail them out?
Still another reason why I moved out of GSO.
Alan, I am outside Guilford, part of a large group in several counties, that come to Greensboro to have a nice meal out and do a little shopping on the side. Keep up overpriced us and we can go at least 4 other directions. MY Village Tavern is in other cities as well! Chick Filet is over the VA line and other NC counties. Get my point? People are tired of being pushed to their limits.
I thought Guilford was smarter than this.
Do they understand that while the younger crowd that benefits from clubs and trendy dining will go for this the older diners that need the option of eating out and food delivery will be priced out of those options and may not have a viable option for balanced and affordable meals? Not every decision in Greensboro needs to be focused on the young drinking social crowd but needs to take the overall tax paying base into consideration.
Any extra money I had to attend an event at Tanger Center was sucked up by the 25% rise in property taxes. Combine that with the current inflation increases and the Ticketmaster’s “Gouge-A-Matic” ticket lottery system and it’s beyond my budget. Not sure why I would have to pay extra money for my takeout food to help support something I can’t afford to attend myself……but then again this is Greensboro. Maybe put a tax on those social district cups the city is so proud of.
Bingo! Eating out, and going out, (like flying) used to be fun. No more. We are not eating out as much as we used to. $20 dinners + beverage, tax, & tip adds up to $60+. Considering what we get at these numbers; we are pretty much out.
There a still a few places to go, and that’s it. Coupons help. When they have to print a new menu, or cut portions or quality, we’re outta there, too. Our favorite Mexican eatery has a new menu, now flush with $17-19 items. Pushed the $10 price point, now $20. Soon to come, $30. Uh, no.
We had a coupon for Mediterraneo. New menu, the usual $18 & up. When the check came, they had the cajones to add a 20% tip to the check. I spoke to the manager, who lied to me and told me it was a new law this year. Tipping is our option, but he refused to remove it. So I paid the check in cash, with no tip. If you don’t believe me, go there yourself.
The reason they have coupons is to try to get new customers, you can lose one, too.
If you want to encourage people to frequent restaurants in other cities, implement this tax. You will destroy the local restaurants that have already suffered losses post COVID. No new taxes. Reevaluating and increasing property taxes 22 percent when the housing market was erratic and over-inflated already makes eating out unaffordable for most property owners.
My Goodness! The “brass” of this group. A 30% property tax isn’t enough?
I fully support putting it on the ballot. You’ll see how out of touch our elected officials really are.
No you won’t. They will bus the voters that won’t pay any of these taxes in to make sure it passes.
This is an absolutely absurd and unfair tax proposal on everyone to subsidize the ten percenters who can afford the outrageously expensive cost of attending events at the Tanger Center, Coliseum, and other civic venues. These entertainment sites are supposed to be self sustaining. Put a referendum on this abominable idea on the ballot and the voters will reject it. Apply our already high taxes to more effective policeing and better security on the streets of Greensboro.
What are they trying to do? Destroy us? If they do this my family will be going elsewhere! Restaurants better step up if you want your businesses to survive….
Dumb idea. Will eat out in Burlington.
Yes, we will eat in Alamance, Forsyth, and Stokes counties.
First they raise our real estate tax rates even with a higher property assessment and now they want to add a prepared food tax to pay for the Tanger Center! It’s my understanding that the Tanger Center is sold out for most of their shows. Why can’t the city levy a tax on the Tanger Center? Let the people who go to the Tanger Center help pay whatever the city owes for the Center!
Yes, I agree. But the snobbish city council doesn’t want to tax their friends who supported the building of the center. Keep raising the cost of tickets will probably not affect those attending the shows they provide, but anytime the council gets a chance to make “everybody” in Greensboro pay, they are letting the cost be borne on all of us, not just those who can afford it.
Seems that the ones in charge when Tanger was being planned was that the incoming shows would be enough to pay for and maintain the Tanger Center.
I would say at this time to let the one’s in charge handle this boondoggle and if and when the commissioners try to put it on the ballot, show them the door and tell them we don’t want a food tax . As commissioner Coleman has said in the past , lots of people in Guilford County do not have resources to be footing the bill for Tanger in the future . Vote the tax down , when the commissioners put it on the ballot..
IS THERE NO LIMIT TO THE GREED OF OUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT?
They’re absolutely rolling in money – our money – and awarding themselves outrageous salary increases, increasing the size of their parasitic departments by multiples of 100%, and refusing to grant a dime of tax relief. And now they want a brand new big tax on our food ????
EFF ‘EM !
North Carolina is a tax hungry state. Keep it up and it will NOT be a destination state for those moving here due to the excessive taxes. We already pay taxes on food in the grocery store. We pay annual taxes on purchased items that we paid tax on at purchase. We pay tax on labor which raises our costs for everything. If Greensboro feels the need to raise taxes to pay for Tanger center they should have thought long and hard before committing to it. As it is now, the Tanger center is NOT affordable for the average person and adding additional taxes for dining out in Greensboro is just another incentive to spend my money somewhere else.
As I understand it the new republican led legislature in Raleigh will be looking at eliminating the state tax on food this session. Couldn’t paint a bigger contrast between them and a Democrat led board. They’ve raised taxes enough for a decade in the past year. Pitiful.
Peter, that’s democrats for you. . . .everyone pays . . .socialism at it’s best.
Our local govt wants MORE taxes. I will tell my friends in the prepared food business, that I can avoid paying yet another tax simply by not eating/drinking out.
Eating out is now an extravagance for many. $20 for some pasta I can make at home for $2-3 just ain’t gonna fly.
$18 for 2 biscuit combos at Biscuitville.$25 for basic breakfast for 2 and a tip at some local eateries,$24 at Stacey’s drive thru.Last 6 trips to Harris Teeter over $119 w/o steak or chicken, just how much more can we stand? Now you want me to pay for subsidizing the Tanger Center! You want to let Airbnb in my neighborhood so a few short term rental owners (also Realtors) can make a bunch of $$ at my communities expense? What the heck Greensboro!! Breaking down the middle class.
To help pay for the Tanger Center? I thought all the old money and young upstarts were paying for that…LOL…this is really becoming a low rent town.
Enough with the taxes. You are killing the home owner with increase taxes, Taxes on cars and tags, Sales taxes. Stop the unnecessary spending. People are having a hard enough time making ends meet now.
I thought the Steven Tanger Center was the Golden Goose according to the city council and over paid Matt Brown but as many of us know this facility and the Money Pit on High Point Rd will always need tax payer funds. This council could have used some of the highest tax increase in history for this but instead looks for ways to continue the residence of GSO. I guess Matt will get another raise once this tax is implemented. Can’t figure out how the voters put these idiots in office during a recession. They spend out tax money like a Drunk Train Robber. Don’t forget Hoffman who live in a non profit retirement facility and pays NO city or county property taxes but votes on how tax payer money is spent.
Tax and spend! It’s always easier to spend other people’s money. More feel good bs from the libs.
Why should the hard working families of Greensboro have to pay for the Tanger Center and bars that we can’t afford to visit!? We are not afforded the luxury of seeing the shows at Tanger. Why should we be the ones to pay for it. Quit wasting OUR TAXES on frivolous endeavors!!!
What, if anything, remains untaxed in Greensboro? I’m serious. What needs to happen is fiscal responsibility on the part of the council.
As long as the current council remains in office, there will not be any change of becoming fiscally responsible.
Greensboro city pirates need to be sacked.
Oh NO. We have the Coliseum which is always in the RED and the Tanger Center, which I will never darken the door of, was built with City money (thankfully I live in the County) and private money, and was supposed to pay for itself. I predicted it wouldn’t sustain the projected numbers of audiences for more than two years and now we have proof. The City is now asking for City AND County taxpayers to foot the burden of paying for Tanger because they’re already realizing that it won’t be bringing in the numbers to pay for itself. NO, that’s on Tanger and the people in the City and County who approved the fancy dancy center thinking they could make a beautiful purse out of a sow’s ear by putting sparkly glittering things all over it forgetting where we were, right dab in the middle of Charlotte and Raliegh, Atlanta and DC. They need to find the money themselves, as a taxpayer who has just seen ALL my other taxes and expenses go up to pay for the errors of politicians, I say NO. I will not go out to eat at any establishment if this happens, even if it means they all close. I’m tired of the strongarm blackmail tactics of these people.
NO<NO<NO<NO<NO,No! We are taxed to death!!!!!!
Why does the government kept increasing baby/children benefits to families who are on welfare. This will encourage these parents to keep having more and more children, and not to acquire any employment. This will also encourage generations of the same family to continue the trend of living on tax payers’ money. Hence, this will drive the country’s debt higher and higher, hence, taxes as well.
In the recent council elections, the opportunity to get rid of this cabal was there. I’m sure most Rhino times
readers voted. The low voter turnout shows that the BS has not gotten bad enough yet.
Maybe this will be the wakeup call needed. Not holding my breath………..
Come on everyone, this has all the earmarks of a typical Greensboro/Guilford County con job. We should all be used to that by now. After all the shenanigans around the Civil Rights Museum, the “private money” Tanger Center, and best of all the mega school bond referendum that may not be enough to build half of what they promised….is anyone really surprised? You did not really think that the upper crust of Greensboro society really had any intention of the Tanger Center being self-supporting yet affordable for all of us riff-raff. Nope, they want us to pay for it with every bite of that burrito, fried chicken, or Big Mac. Then we can all enjoy playing the Tanger Center Lottery at Ticketmaster.
My heart flutters while reading the above comments. I have nothing to add except term limits for elected politicians. The few voters in Greensboro and Guilford County apparently are handpicked by the politically influential resulting in a stacked deck. Let us take the power away from these people with term limits. Yes, there will remain the politically influential, but their attempt to keep the status quo will be more and more challenging. Forced turnover is a good thing.
Let’s be sure and bankrupt our great grandchildren. Keep voting blue until they’re homeless as well.
Born free, taxed into slavery! Screw the Greensboro city council!
As expensive as tickets to the Tanger Center are that venue should be self sufficient. It’s not up to the people who are not part of the downtown night life to have to support those who do. Another unfair way of picking the pockets of Greensboro and Guilford County residents.
We were told Tanger would be self sustaining. Not. Term limits now!
Greensboro, a small city with a big city mentality. This tax proposal is why it will remain a small city, especially with the present city council.
They want to collect more tax money to fund the Tanger Center? The very place featuring “Beetlejuice: The Musical” and “Frozen” ? Is this an actual discussion happening in reality?
If the upper crust of this city want the Tanger Center as badly as they have shown in the past, put the burden of fiscally sustaining it on them. Increase the price of each ticket, put a tax on each ticket. Let the people of this city that cannot afford to go to that illustrious pig with lipstick alone as far as taxes to support it are concerned. I have not and will not EVER darken the door of that place because I knew this would happen, that the city residents who can’t afford to go will end up supporting it through increased taxes. This is worse than highway robbery. And how insulting!!! Especially after the highest tax increase in the history of this city. The whole City Council should be run out of town on a rail!
Surely not! It is time for us to start calling, and writing our Council members and the Mayor protesting this. Call the Mayor’s office and you can get the phone number of your City Council represenative.