Monday, October 17, 2005

What? Revenues Are Down?

This morning's Indy Star report had me laughing out loud. It seems the suburban counties tax haul from the new food & beverage taxes is less than was expected.

No! You're kidding! Combine higher gas prices with higher menu prices and add a flattening housing market, and you just might have people thinking twice about going out to eat as often as they were when the projections were made. Throw in the perception that patrons might not be able to smoke in bars. I said this all along- if you want to grow revenues, you have to create incentives for people to participate in the taxed activity, not disincentives. Well- duh.

But nobody should be given to panic on this. Any time the Colts want to kick in that user fee- the $3/per ticket tax they stubbornly refused to abide by as 'their share'- they can easily replace any revenues not generated by the food & beverage taxes. From the Star:
State finance officials are counting on $3.5 million a year from the new 1 percent restaurant tax in six surrounding counties, or about $300,000 a month, to help pay for the new stadium. But this month, when money was distributed from August restaurant visits, the stadium project netted a little more than half of that, or $164,376.

Remember that we've been told that the ticket tax was unnecessary, that there was plenty of money to go around without it. It was once considered crucial, but then the government's negotiators went weak at the knees, caving in to the Colts on the ticket tax. But, if there is concern, consider this:

The RCA Dome has a seating capacity of 57,890. At $3/seat, revenue of $173,670 would be generated per game. The average month has 2 games, which would mean generating $347,340.

Do the math. The ticket tax could replace the food & beverage tax. It would have been more fair to tax the actual users of the football product, and would have left diners alone. And apparently, donut county restauranteurs need the disincentives removed.


Kevin said...

I have a girl who works for me that is a waitress part time in Plainfield who says tips are way down too.

Todd S. said...

The only problem is, the donut counties got that additional 160K that they wouldn't have received otherwise, so I'm sure they're still all for the tax.

Mike Kole said...

That's true, Todd. The counties like the bump in revenue, no matter if it is merely under projection.

It's still irritating that a stadium is publicly funded. It should have been private. The counties should be free to raise a tax- if they make the case that it is needed for a specific purpose, and if the people being taxed back the appropriation and the expenditure. This was just a grab for grabbing's sake.