Contact: Jim Waters @ 270.320.4376
(SHELBYVILLE, Ky.) — Despite strong opposition by taxpayers and local business owners, the Shelbyville City Council plans to bring a proposed 3-percent restaurant tax back up tonight at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 315 S. Washington St. 40065.
The politicians and bureaucrats say revenues raised by the tax would be used for tourism and “tourism-related” projects.
Nearly 3,000 individuals have signed this petition opposing the tax, including 2,025 persons who reside within the 40065 zip code, which includes the city of Shelbyville.
Skip and Teresa McKinley, owners of McKinley’s Bread Shop and Deli in Shelbyville, strongly object to what they call “this absurd tax” and wonder how the money will really be spent.
“Tourism just bought a lovely home. Do they need another vehicle?” Skip McKinley wrote in the comment section of the online petition.
“If the money can only be used for nonessential items, then the tax is nonessential,” Teresa McKinley told the Bluegrass Institute on Wednesday. “Just because the restaurant tax is part of the Kentucky tax code does not make it fair or right.”
The McKinleys, who have owned and operated their restaurant for more than 19 years, said the tax – which will drive total taxes on restaurant checks to over 9 percent – “not only hurts local folks who want to eat out, but hurts small business owners.”
The petition encouraged taxpayers to “look at our dilapidated city sidewalks, or the newly renovated tourism building located on Main Street (and) see for yourself where the council’s priorities lie,” the petition states. “You are a better steward of your money than they are.”
The petition also reminds: “None of these funds will go to the police, the fire department, or any other essential life government entity. These funds will be used at the pleasure of the council and the tourism commission for tourism purposes.”
Teresa McKinley expanded on the tax’s unfairness:
- “It targets “only the people who eat in Shelbyville restaurants.”
- “It also targets restaurant owners who have to figure out how to collect the tax, especially when you don’t have electronic point-of-sale registers.”
- It “also adds more bookkeeping and paperwork.”
The Bluegrass Institute encourages concerned taxpayers and business owners make their voices heard.
“The only ones clamoring for restaurant taxes are a handful of politicians and the unelected bureaucrats they do back-room deals with,” Bluegrass Institute president Jim Waters said. “We encourage Shelbyville taxpayers and voters to contact council members and remind them of their opposition to this non-essential, non-productive and nonsensical tax.”
Council members’ contact information, including phone numbers, can be found by clicking here.
Note to media: The McKinley’s are available for comment at their restaurant until 2 p.m. today and then at tonight’s council meeting. They can be contacted at (502) 321-7632.