Friday, July 11, 2008


For 17 years, Durham has worked to shape consensus around a proposal for a prepared food tax. Often DCVB did the heavy lifting but now the Mayor and Commissioner Reckhow, along with the City Council and Board of County Commissioners are taking the lead.

Four counties and 1 town have the tax, several with the assent of the NC Restaurant and Lodging Association.

Durham arguably has the most thoughtful proposal…one that benefits residents, visitors and the businesses collecting the tax.

Durham’s is also different because it requires a voter referendum.

It has proceeded half way through the General Assembly. But there is a full court press to get the Senate to block it.

Getting authority to get voter approval to levy this tax will go a long way toward shoring up Durham’s unique sense of place and cultural landscape.

Please email these Senators today, over the weekend or at the very latest Monday, asking them to give Durham this opportunity that has been given to similar communities like Charlotte, Raleigh, Fayetteville and the Outer Banks, even Hillsborough.

Below are the uses for which this tax is targeted:

Beautification, Cleanup and Appearance (5%)
- Create better curb appeal, increase property values
- Way finding signs to make it easier to get around, find dining districts
- Make all of Durham as attractive as the RTP part of Durham
- Litter pick up, especially around quick service clusters

DCVB Community Marketing (10%)
- Draw visitors, promote dining to grow the revenues
- Encourage visitors to circulate more after arrival
- Address Durham image issues
- Promote the Durham brand and identity

Workforce Development (5%)
- Improve Customer Service
- Improve Durham Careers In Hospitality programs in Durham Public Schools
- Encourage training labs at NCCU and Durham Tech
- Promote the culinary arts as a career

Civic, Cultural and Recreational Projects (80%)
- Fund construction and upkeep of museums, theaters, sports facilities, parks, greenways
- Sustain Durham’s cultural landscape
- Protect and foster place based assets, “built,” “natural” and “heritage”

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