Is there such a thing as a good tax?

Published 5:01 pm Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Town of Tryon is currently considering adding a one-percent food and beverage tax, which could be positive for the town, especially in a time when a community-wide momentum has generated to rejuvenate and enhance downtown.
Businesses that have to charge the tax and customers who have to pay the tax will likely disagree, however.
The City of Landrum has certainly benefited from a 2-percent food and beverage tax implemented a few years ago. But Landrum was pushed in a corner; if it had not decided to charge the tax itself, Spartanburg County could have taken the revenue from Landrum establishments.
With revenues of up to $150,000 a year, Landrum has beautified its downtown area and paid for signage and many advertisements to draw visitors – and those visitors have come in droves.
Tryon will certainly not receive as much revenue as Landrum if a similar tax is approved by the state. Landrum receives tax revenues from a much larger number of food and beverage establishments than Tryon currently has. Tryon will likely never have fast food establishments, something that Landrum can capitalize on because of its location along I-26.
Tryon currently has relatively few eating and drinking establishments, but with improvements to the town and advertising, this could be an opportunity to help draw more visitors and grow businesses.
Tryon officials should do careful research at this critical time to weigh the benefits and possible detriments an additional tax could mean for its future.
– Editorial staff, Tryon Daily Bulletin

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