Dine-in tax rumor causes controversy at Springfield budget meeting
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WRSP) —
The Springfield Chamber of Commerce sent out an email on Wednesday which said Springfield City Council would be discussing a proposal to increase taxes with a dine-in tax.
Many business owners filled the city council chambers on at the budget meeting Thursday to express their thoughts.
"We're concerned about some discussions that are taking place among the alderman about a dining in tax," said Mike Monseur, the owner of Godfather’s Pizza.
Monseur walked into the city council chambers Thursday night with a mission. He was intending on telling the city a new tax for local restaurants wasn’t the answer.
“We're here to say 'folks, there may be tax increases needed but don't target an industry,' " said Monseur.
However, Alderman Chuck Redpath, spoke before those concerns were expressed.
"The dine-in tax is on the very very low spectrum of anything we're proposing," explained Redpath.
It turns out the dine-in tax was a rumor and no Alderman was intending to propose that tax at the budget meeting.
“Rumors fly around tax time all the time but that is not something we're looking at," said Redpath.
Alderman Redpath said the last thing they want is to hike taxes for local businesses even more.
“We've got a great city here and we're taxed enough and the last thing we want is to put more of a burden on businesses here and a dine-in tax would do that," he said.
The rumored dine-in tax was just the first of many topics discussed at the city’s budget meeting.
Mayor Jim Langfelder released his proposal for the 2019 fiscal year’s budget.
One item in the proposal is to increase the sales tax to 8.75 percent, that's an increase of a quarter of a percent.
The proposal also works to save money in other ways, like cutting positions.
Mayor Langfelder said this is the lowest point of employment in a budget.
He said the goal right now is to get the city out of the slump they are in with such a high budget deficit.