Local News

Durham meal tax supporters kick off campaign

Posted September 16, 2008
Updated September 17, 2008

— Supporters of a 1 percent meal tax in Durham kicked off their campaign Tuesday.

Two weeks ago, Durham commissioners finalized a referendum for the tax on prepared food.

The proceeds from the tax would be divided among beautification and cleanup; community marketing; work force development; and civic, cultural and recreational projects, Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau President Reyn Bowman said.

The tax could raise between $5 million and $7 million a year, officials estimated. Supporters say the cost will be minimal to the average person, possibly $18 a year.

Opponents of the tax cite poor timing in an already struggling economy.

The referendum will be on Durham County ballots in November.


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  • Scarecrow Cow Sep 17, 2008

    I completely agree, anneonymousone. If they're going to tax food, the money should go to feed people couldn't afford to eat even before the tax. "Beautification and cleanup" is frivilous with so many other problems goin gon.

  • anneonymousone Sep 17, 2008

    Silly me! I had assumed that the tax proceeds would go to feed the hungry, house the homeless, and care for the orphaned, ill, and elderly. These would all go a long way toward preventing crime, gang membership, and all the other distorted reasons that people dislike Durham.

    Nope, "beautification and cleanup; community marketing; work force development; and civic, cultural and recreational projects" are more important. Does "work force development" have anything to do with real job training for those in need, or will it mean this year's style khakis for the boys in the back offices?

    I know that 1% isn't much, certainly not enough to make me cross county lines for a meal, but the priorities are waaaaaaaaaay out of proportion.

  • fletchermse Sep 17, 2008

    Those people really want their little projects, as long as someone else is picking up the bill.

  • sec Sep 17, 2008

    The last thing we Durham residents need right now is to pay more $ for food! How are our businesses to be competitive with other restaurants in the Triangle when people have to pay more to eat here than elsewhere? We Durham residents just voted in a huge bond to support the cleanup and development of Durham- now the city council wants more money?!?! The city council should learn to be more fiscally responsible and less greedy. We all have to make due with less in these times- so should they! Hey- Durham City Council- get your hands out of my pocketbook!!

  • OrdinaryCitizen Sep 17, 2008

    "Opponents of the tax cite poor timing in an already struggling economy"
    That's all that needs to be said. Enuff already

  • iron fist Sep 17, 2008

    This one vote against the tax.

  • 68_polara Sep 17, 2008

    We just passed a bond for this in 2005, which certainly hasn't been paid off, what benefits have we seen from it? Could Durham leaders ever get their hands on enough money to waste that could ever satisfy themselves? Maybe we should just start calling Durham Taxham.

  • Me again Sep 17, 2008

    Anybody remember the movie Total Recall? In it, people were charged for air. Pretty soon they'll run out of things to tax leaving the next logical thing to tax to be the air we breathe.

  • ncguy Sep 17, 2008

    How about all the inmates do the clean up? HMM? what a concept!

  • AtALost Sep 16, 2008

    Beautification and cleanup?? Those need work too, but the focus should be on crime/criminals. Of course, I feel like Durham mismanages the enormous property taxes they charge now so this will just make me cut back on prepared food.