Scott Tibbs
blog post
December 17th, 2004

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Food and Beverage Tax?

Following is an email I sent to the representative and senator for my district.

If the legislation to enable a Food and Beverage Tax is passed, Indiana University students should pay close attention to budgetary meetings for local government. The reason for this is that IU students would pay a significant portion of the money collected by a Food and Beverage Tax, because of the money students spend on restaurants. As a friend has described it, a Food and Beverage Tax would be a tax on pizza and beer.

The campus political groups, specifically the College Republicans, College Democrats and College Libertarians, should keep their membership informed on how, when and if such a tax would be implemented. Because of the impact a Food and Beverage Tax would have on students, the Indiana Daily Student should cover the budgetary debates in detail, to make sure IU students are informed on the issue.

----Original Message Follows----
From: "Scott Tibbs" <>
Subject: Legislation to enable a Food and Beverage Tax
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 01:56:28 -0500

Mr. Pierce and Mrs. Simpson;

Representative Welch has introduced a bill in the Indiana House of Representatives that would allow Monroe County to implement a Food and Beverage Tax. The Herald-Times reports that similar legislation introduced by another member of the House is more likely to pass, since it is not "special legislation" for one county and is more likely to be approved by the Indiana Supreme Court.

I would encourage you to support the second bill. I am not fond of the idea of a food and beverage tax. However, I think that it is generally a good idea for the Legislature to move toward more fiscal home rule for local government. City and county councils are restricted in what they can do to deal with budgetary problems that might arise due to state law.

I think we can, for the most part, trust the judgment of elected officials in local government. If budgetary policies of city or county councils are too burdensome on local taxpayers, they have the ability to vote those councils out of office. I am not advocating that there be no restrictions on what local government can do, because state government does have a legitimate interest in protecting local taxpayers, but it would be in the interest of good government for state government to loosen its' grip on local budgets.

From a philosophical perspective, I believe that the government closest to the people is best. Legislators in Indianapolis do not deal with local budgets on a regular basis to the extent that city and county councils do. Those bodies have more knowledge and experience with what their constituents want and need than the Legislature does. I encourage you to embrace the principle of federalism that is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and American political thought for over 200 years.

Scott Tibbs