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WE CONGRATULATE: Ordinance plan for restaurant tax

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Simpsonville is considering a restaurant tax, and we endorse that step.

The Simpsonville City Commission this morning is scheduled to introduce first reading of an ordinance to create a restaurant tax at its eateries.

We understand that this ordinance would be weeks away from passing and months from implementation, but we have to applaud the fact that the commission is entertaining this suggestion.

That’s because we think this idea is a good one, a way to generate revenue from what this city will see as a burgeoning marketplace in the next five years, revenue that can be reinvested in promoting the city and growing that business line. The tax revenue should beget more visitors who would create more tourism dollars at hotels and restaurants.

Of course, we also like the restaurant tax as a relatively passive opportunity to generate revenue to support public projects. Not all those dollars – and countywide, if ever adopted, this should become hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions in the near future – would have to go to promotion.

We could invest those dollars in the infrastructure for our citizens. For instance, this tax could support constructing and operating the proposed City Center in downtown Shelbyville.

Simpsonville, thus, perhaps is taking an important first step for all of us, setting a pace that could be followed.

Shelbyville City Council historically has not entertained such an option, although we know it has been discussed.

In coming months we would encourage this group to open its ears and be prepared to grow, too.