Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Alcohol Tax Increase AND Hospitality Taxes Proposed to Fund CIB Operations

An increase in hospitality taxes is now a real threat.

This Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee will be considering an amendment to HB 1604 which increases the excise tax on Alcohol by 100%, the food and beverage tax .25% and the innkeeper's tax 1% to help fund the Marion County Capital Improvement Board shortfall caused by the Pacers, Colts and Convention Center operating losses.

In and effort to gain support for the idea, the anticipated $42 million increase in alcohol taxes would be distributed statewide to cities and towns throughout Indiana on a population basis for economic development initiatives. Only Indianapolis' portion ($8 million annually) of this increase would go to the Marion County Capital Improvement Board.

Not only would this give Central Indiana the highest combined hospitality tax rate in the country, the increase in the alcohol tax would come at a time when the casual and fine dining segment are already struggling.

Any new funding for the CIB would have to be authorized by the Indiana General Assembly before they adjourn on April 29th. We only have a few days left to let our legislators know how we feel about this issue.

Please use our legislative action center at http://capwiz.com/la to contact your legislator to let them know how you feel. A typed or handwritten letter on your letterhead in your own words would be even better. Remember that you can contact your Senator and Representative where you live and where your business is located.

Ask your employees, suppliers, friends and customers to support your business by doing the same thing.

This is a true emergency. Please get started today - before it is too late.


John Livengood

Click here for a list of legislators and their hometown numbers.

Click here to find your legislator.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Upcoming Hoosier Hospitality Conference Boasts New Topics and National Speakers

Over 500 restaurateurs, hoteliers and tourism professionals will be “Creating Hoosier Hysteria in Hospitality” at the 2009 Hoosier Hospitality Conference (HHC) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Historic Union Station in Indianapolis on March 24 and March 25. This year's conference boasts exciting national speakers and hot new topics that are affecting the restaurant and hospitality industry today.

With more than 25 industry-focused educational sessions that focus on marketing, sustainability, technology, trends, and government relations, we can proudly say that HHC is Indiana's only all industry educational and networking conference for hospitality leaders.

During HHC 2009, special guests and industry experts will ignite excitement into the restaurant and hospitality industry. National speakers Chris Moyer, from the National Restaurant Association, and Costas Christ, from National Geographic Adventure, will give attendees the necessary knowledge to keep current with industry trends.

Other guest speakers will present topics such blogging, branding, marketing and technology. A silent auction will take place that will benefit the Association of Indiana Convention and Visitors Bureau scholarship program, and the Indiana Hospitality & Tourism Foundation to prepare high school students who want to enter the restaurant and hospitality industry.

HHC is brought to you by the Indiana Restaurant Association (IRA), the Indiana Hotel & Lodging Association (IHLA), the Association of Indiana Convention and Visitors Bureau (AICVB), and the Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD).

View the full list of speakers, session information and register online at http://www.hoosierhospitalityconference.com/.