Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. $12 for 12 weeks.
News Opinion Readers Respond

City meal tax would harm restaurants, diners

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's suggestion that she might one day seek to raise taxes on restaurant meals in Baltimore City may be the worst idea regarding affordable dining since Marie Antoinette's injunction "then let them eat cake" ("Health costs too high, mayor says," Feb. 21).

Virtually no one likes to pay tax on top of the cost of a meal in a restaurant. Price is almost always a factor for diners eating out. Because there are roughly an equal number of fine dining establishments in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, why not dine where one can save a few bucks for a comparable meal?

City residents could be encouraged to drive to the county to dine less expensively if such a hike is enacted. An increase would also create a disincentive for county residents to come into the city to eat. The result would be less money going into the city coffers, not more. The only thing that will increase in the city is restaurant failures because of the drop in patrons.

But suppose instead of increasing the city's restaurant tax the mayor backed a plan under which restaurants voluntarily paid the current meal tax in lieu of patrons paying it. That would be a gimmick few diners could resist.

City restaurants would thrive — it's all about volume — more meals would be served, more checks would be paid and restaurant tax receipts would pour into the city treasury.

Joseph Johnson, Towson

  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts
  • Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
    Related Content
    • City Hall theater
      City Hall theater

      No sooner had the Baltimore City Council taken a strong step in defiance of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's promised vetoes of two controversial bills Monday night than they announced their intentions to cave under the pressure and let her have her way. The council, it seems, is an...

    • The message from voters
      The message from voters

      It appears that some of the long-serving politicians who have been addicted to tax and spending increases may have heard the message from voters that it's not their money and we are tired of them wasting our tax dollars ("Rawlings-Blake to create 'tax reform' task force," Nov. 11).

    • Tired of sticking up for a city that doesn't stick up for me
      Tired of sticking up for a city that doesn't stick up for me

      Recently, a large semi-truck took off the back end of my car, which was parked right next to a "no trucks" sign on Toone Street in Canton. The entire experience was surreal, but initially I was fine because I was just relieved that no one was injured in any way. The truck driver was nice and...

    • Minor privilege, major disincentive [Editorial]
      Minor privilege, major disincentive [Editorial]

      Our view: If Baltimore is serious about fostering investment and growth, it needs to stop charging businesses for the privilege of existing here

    • End the city pension fight [Editorial]
      End the city pension fight [Editorial]

      Our view: Baltimore's police and fire unions should recognize that a settlement, not more litigation, is in their members' best interest

    • Baltimore's brighter budget [Editorial]
      Baltimore's brighter budget [Editorial]

      Our view: Tough decisions made during the last few years put the city in a position to cut taxes and maintain government services

    Comments
    Loading