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Where Candidates Stand on The Tax

Jim Kee - District 2 Candidate
"I am not in favor of placing a tax on specific industries. The obligation to pay taxes should be fairly distributed among all taxpayers, both individually and among corporations. I do not support a prepared food tax." -Jim Kee
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Donnell J. Hardy - District 1 Candidate
DJ Hardy is partnering with community leaders, restaurant owners and other concerned citizens to push against a prepared foods tax.

The latest version of the prepared foods tax will be levied on all restaurant patrons, caterers and other food vendors such as food trucks that prepare food on site. Hardy believes that no single retail industry, such as the restaurant industry should be singled out to have their patrons taxed to the exclusion of other retail industries. Hardy is convinced and supported by evidence that this tax will discourage people from eating out more regularly which will result in a net loss of jobs at a time when every job is needed and necessary for many families.

"Low to Middle-income families will share the highest burden of this tax," says Hardy. "With the tax slated to go to entertainment venues, such as the Greensboro Coliseum that already receive city funds; This tax will not help maintain vital services for District 1 and all citizens will feel the pinch when they celebrate their anniversaries and birthdays by going out to eat. I can't support a tax increase that will fall disproportionately on the backs of District 1 residents, workers, and families that will not at the same time guarantee them better or increased provision of city services."

The tax proposes to raise $9 million dollars which would go to fund venues such as the Coliseum and Greensboro Aquatic Center; and events such as the ACC Tournament.
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Sal Leone - At Large Candidate
"I have been looking into where I answered the question and I think I actually answered yes to a food tax. I am a person who looks into things and not afraid to say that I more then likely am wrong on that tax. The industry is under enough presure and being a person that knows people in the industry I can say that a Tax would only hurt the industry. So I will be a fair and honest person, strange thing to be in politics, will say that the industry needs support and not new taxes or increased taxes. The government has to inspire and help develope business and not hurt it. I hope this answers the question." SAL LEONE
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Nancy Barakat Vaughan - At Large Candidate
"I appreciate an industry being proactive and trying to address a concern before it becomes an issue. I understand that the leadership of the local restaurant industry was alarmed that there may have been some low level discussions in support of a prepared food tax which found its way onto a TREBIC questionnaire.

However, as confirmed by the City Manger, there were never any council level discussions about a prepared food tax. I found the statement "We are committed to protecting the restaurant industry and its patrons by fighting the PROPOSED (emphasis mine) discriminatory Prepared Foods Tax / Restaurant Tax." to be misleading to the general public since there is no PROPOSED tax. Based on recent discussions, I would NOT support such a tax. On the TREBIC questionnaire, when asked about the prepared food tax, I answered "not sure" because there was no context to the question. I also indicated that any prepared food tax should be subject to a public referendum."

"Additionally, the City Council does not have the ability to institute a prepared food/restaurant tax without the approval of the North Carolina General Assembly."
-Nancy Barakat Vaughan
Email Nancy about the issue Click Here

Marikay Abuzuaiter - At Large Candidate
Via NoRestaurantTax Facebook Page:
"As a small business owner I have ALWAYS been against extra fees and taxes that have been placed upon and do not help our small businesses and especially on restaurants...HOWEVER, the question that was asked of us was - if we would support a one cent tax for economic development and quality of life initiatives - nothing else was explained NOR was the chart shared with the candidates. It was a YES or NO answer. The second part of the question was "would you require a referendum" and I said YES - it should be up to ALL the citizens and business owners. The way the question was WORDED was implying that the one cent would DEFINITELY bring help to our struggling small businesses that are either having to close or are in debt. I would be happy to scan the question and send it to anyone who would like to see it. If this initiative would NOT also assist our small businesses I am completely and wholeheartedly against it!"

"After reviewing the information provided to a few and NOT to me, I would definitely be AGAINST a prepared food tax. I could never automatically speak against the wishes of the residents of Greensboro if elected and I stated that in my answer on the survey. Our small independent restaurants & businesses are suffering in this economy and I would never vote to hurt ANY small business. I have ALWAYS fought to protect our small businesses and will continue to do so!"
Email Marikay about the issue Click Here

Dianne Bellamy-Small - District 1 Candidate
"Brown presented a chart of organizations that would benefit from $9M raised if we levied a 1% prepared food tax in Guilford County. As I was shaking my head no Dianne Bellamy-Small sitting behind me asked, "why don't we do 2 cent?"."
Email Dianne about the issue Click Here
Robbie Perkins - Mayor Candidate
Perkin's response via the Yes! Weekly Blog. By the way, what's the "Alternative Revenue Stream"? And "I think I wrote...?" Nice campaign speak for I don't want to admit.

"Perkins called the campaign a "made-up issue" and accused those behind it of attempting to "mislead the voting public."

"I think I wrote on my questionnaire that this is something that could be considered if you were going to create a coliseum authority," Perkins told YES! Weekly. "The only way not to have taxpayers subsidize the coliseum is to create an authority and put in an alternative revenue stream."

The No Restaurant Tax Facebook page links to a January 2010 article by Fox 8 TV indicating that Perkins proposed an authority to oversee the coliseum. But Perkins has not advocated the creation of a coliseum authority since that time. Last month, he addressed Conservatives for Guilford County and defended the current arrangement in which the coliseum is subsidized by the city of Greensboro's general fund.

"I look at the billion dollars of tourism business in Guilford County as a huge community asset," Perkins said. "And the centerpiece of that business is the Greensboro Coliseum. So the million and a half dollars that we are giving the coliseum out of the general fund each year is a small part of the many millions that we bring in through that facility to the benefit of our citizens. I contend that the tourism business, the hotel business and the restaurant business would not be close to the same in our city without the coliseum driving that business."

Today, Perkins said, "Is it on the table? No. Should it be on the table? Unless we decided to move forward with some kind of authority for the coliseum, there's no reason for it to be on the table.""

"Perkins has at least two ideas on how to distribute expenses: a restaurant tax or a hotel/motel tax. "

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C. Bradley Hunt, II - District 2 Candidate
"I was under the impression that the revenue generated by this restarant tax would be used to sustain and expand small and minority businesses. If the revenue is used for those purposes then I am for the tax. If not, then I will need to revisit this issue. We live in difficult economic conditions and we must begin to create new streams of sustainable income to spur economic development in our city. If it's not a 1 percent restaurant tax then how do we achieve this objective? This item should require a referendum and be decided by all citizens and buisness owners."
Email C. Bradley Hunt, II about the issue Click Here

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