A 1 percent food and beverage tax is bringing in more money than state officials anticipated, and the extra dollars are going toward county employee salaries, office equipment and other county expenses.
The county expected to bring in $1.8 million annually with the tax that charges local diners an extra 1 percent on bar and restaurant bills. But the tax routinely brings in more than $2 million per year in Johnson County, according to county treasurer’s office.
When the county approved the tax in 2005, officials agreed to give half the money from the tax to help pay debt on Lucas Oil Stadium and an expansion to the Indiana Convention Center. Five other central Indiana counties also approved charging the tax.
The county receives the other half of what the tax brings in, typically between $1 million and $1.3 million per year. That money goes into the county’s general fund, which pays for county employee salaries and other office expenses, council member Anita Knowles said. The cities and other local governments do not get a share of the money.
The food and beverage tax is tacked on to the sales tax on restaurant and bar bills. That means a restaurant customer who receives a $30 bill is paying 30 cents extra for the food and beverage tax.
The Johnson County Council approved the tax in 2005 at the state’s request as a way to help pay for more than $995 million in debt the state owes on construction for Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indiana Convention Center.