City Council seeks to help restaurants | Local
A non-binding resolution to help some businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to be presented at the Fort Wayne city council meeting tonight.
The resolution is moved by City Councilor Jason Arp, R-4th, and asks the Allen County Capital Improvement Board in Fort Wayne to determine if it can provide grants or loans to revenue-generating businesses. additional food and beverage tax. The proposal also requests the Capital Improvement Board to provide a report on its ability to provide such a grant or loan within 30 days of the adoption of the resolution.
Although presented, discussion of the proposal would likely wait until the April 28 board meeting. The April 21 meeting was canceled in March.
Allen County has a 1% tax on all prepared foods and beverages sold in the county. The tax revenues generated by these sales are used to repay the debt associated with Memorial Coliseum.
The remaining funds are managed by the Capital Improvement Board, which is required by state law to allocate $ 100,000 to a due diligence fund.
“CIB is required by IC-6-9-33-8 (b) to hold funds received in reserve for one year, unless an authorized payment is made to the county for a pledge prior to January 1, 2009” , indicates the resolution of Arp.
Under state law, food and beverage tax funds can be used to finance capital improvement or economic development projects. The Arp resolution notes that under state law, an economic development project is defined “as a project that promotes gainful employment, attracts or maintains businesses, or develops business”.
“The CIB currently has additional food and beverage tax revenue not committed to an account it oversees, and not committed to an existing project,” the resolution said. “And in this time of significant financial hardship for many restaurants and other businesses that generate the Allen County Additional Food and Beverage Tax, it is unreasonable that the revenues generated by Allen County businesses. . are not used and kept for the future. possible investments.
The Arp resolution also calls on state officials and senators to consider options for changing the requirements for the Allen County additional food and beverage tax to allow for more local control in management. fund.
This could include “issuing a moratorium or reallocation, especially during times when the tax may be better used by elected officials than an unelected council.”
Arp first suggested the idea at the March 24 board meeting.
“A lot of these restaurants are not going to reopen,” he said at the time. “Maybe we could help some of these people by paying off their food and beverage taxes for the past two years that are in the account waiting to be used at Electric Works.”