by Matt Saldaña
Pretzels are not. The Herald-Sun reports on the distinction between "restaurant meals," which would be subject to a proposed 1 percent meals tax in Durham, and tax-free (though, sadly, not necessarily fat-free) snacks:
If voters pass the referendum, the tax would be applied to restaurant meals and any food that consists of two or more mixed items; that is heated by a retailer or sold in a heated state; or that is sold with plates, napkins, straws or eating utensils provided by the retailer. Vending machines would be exempt from the levy, however.
For the record, that's 4 cents for a Cook-Out Plate, zero cents for a cold donut. (Fresh Krispy Kreme donuts figure to be non-exempt items.)
Curiously, the H-S article cites unattributed "estimates" that show three tiers of taxed groups: "lower-income residents" (77 cents/mo.), "higher-income residents" ($2.71/mo.) and "average" ($1.74/mo.). It is unclear why the H-S divided the tax estimates into rich, poor, and just right. Perhaps they were provided in this easily digestible format by the pro-tax group, Taste for Durham's Future, whose members presented findings to the Durham Commissioners last night.
Updated Sep. 11 @ 3:20 PM: First-person pronoun removed; food pun added.