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A closer look at the food and beverage tax being collected in Quincy

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QUINCY (WGEM) -- If you plan to eat at a restaurant in Quincy, you'll be paying a little bit more for that meal.

City officials said there is now concern that businesses may have to pay out of pocket if they're not implementing the tax correctly.

The one percent food and beverage tax was approved back in November of 2019 and was supposed to be implemented in May of 2020.

Because of the pandemic, officials pushed that start date back to the beginning of this year, January 1, 2021.

The one percent tax is added to all prepared food and beverages, and all alcohol sold.

The city treasurer said the revenue from the tax will be used as part of an economic growth fund for marketing and tourism.

“We know right now that about 40 percent of our food and beverage revenues from within our businesses come from those outside the city and the idea is to attract more people to our city, so that we can spread the burden of tax and our residents don’t have to absorb 100 percent of it," said Linda Moore, Quincy city treasurer.

Moore said the city let businesses know about the tax well in advance by sending out notices in the mail.

Despite that, she is still worry some businesses aren’t implementing the tax and will have to pay out of pocket when the first deadline comes up on February 20.

Brian Lash, owner of Krazy Cakes Café said he thought the city made the right decision to push the start date of tax back, but he's worried about the burden on local business because they have been going through a lot with state restrictions during the pandemic as well as increased taxes.

“As a restaurant, you’re doing well if you make a five percent profit, like you’re considered doing really well. So one percent of that is 20 percent of the potential profits, again if you’re doing a good job. So I don’t know why they chose this industry per say," Lash said.

Lash is encouraged to hear that the revenue from the tax will be used by the city for marketing to attract tourism, which he said is needed more than ever since the start of the pandemic.

The city of Quincy said the food and beverage tax has a five year sunset, which means the tax will be in place until 2025 and then the city will decide whether to keep it going.

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Isabella Rossi

Multimedia Journalist

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