by Fiona Morgan
The Durham People's Alliance, a progressive grassroots citizens' group, announced last week that its political action committee voted to support a ballot referendum to impose a 1 percent sales-tax surcharge on restaurant meals in the city order to fund a minor league baseball museum and other cultural amenities.
"[M]embers of the organization engaged in a spirited discussion over the wisdom and desirability of the proposed one percent prepared meals tax," the release said. "During the discussion, PA members sharpened their understanding of the balance between the impact of the tax on ordinary citizens and the local governments’ need for a reliable funding source in addition to the property tax. After a well-informed and spirited debate, the People’s Alliance decided to lend its support to the tax referendum."
Bull City Rising has this analysis.
Meanwhile, another Durham institution has announced opposition. In an interview (reg. required) with The Herald-Sun, Elmo's Diner manager Cammie Brantley sounded convinced by the position statement of the N.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association, which opposes the tax because of the rising economic hardships on restaurants and their customers.
"It's not necessarily a bad thing for another time," Brantley told the paper. "Our position is it's not a great thing for right now."