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Munfordville KY Restaurant Tax

Jim Skees wrote me today with a great story. He's a subscriber to the Fire Pit and the McDonalds restaurant in Munfordville, KY passed through the drive-through window a piece of straw plus two coffees. I'm not talking a drinking straw. Think of the one that you'd put on a camel's back.

It all makes sense if you read this:

I just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know how you have inspired me. I live outside Louisville, Kentucky. My family lives south of Bowling Green, about 120 miles south on I-65. I have been making that trip several times a year for the past 30 years. Yesterday, on the way back from celebrating Christmas with the family, I stopped for a cup of coffee at a MacDonalds in Munfordville, about half-way home. I noticed on the little screen at the drive-thru that the tax on our two $1 cups was 18 cents.

Having a master's degree in engineering, I quickly determined that the total did not match our state's 6% standard theivery. When I asked why the tax was at 9% instead of the normal 6%, I was told that Munfordville has a 3% restaurant tax.

Shamefully, the only one to receive my wrath at that point was the poor minimum wage guy at the drive-thru window. I tried to make sure he understood that I was not angry with him, but to make sure he told his manager and passed it on to the Democrats that run that community the Tea Party had stopped by, but would NEVER come back.

When I got home, I looked up the number for the Chamber of Commerce in Munfordville and left a message that after 30 years of steady business there, I would now be taking my two dollar purchase once a month to the McDonalds at Cave City, two exits down.

That'll learn um.

Jim, wait till you start to travel like I do. The lodging taxes, food tax, travel tax, etc. that communities load onto travelers who can't vote in a city make quite a few travelers upset.

Their excuse is that while you're in the fair city you're using their infrastructure, police, fire department, etc. without paying. My argument is that's no way to treat a guest. There's absolutely two sides to that story, but wait till you see a hotel bill that's got 18 percent or more taxes on top of it.


It all comes down to raising money from a crowd that is least likely to complain. This has existed in many communities for years, and works well for most!

James Oak on January 1, 2011 3:30 PM

fees are the new taxes where i live and yes we are going to have to change our lifestyle and stop utilizilng places that fee the heck out of us.
Time to start exlporing our own backyards

Bill Ferland on January 1, 2011 4:08 PM

If the local government is doing all it can to be a good steward of the public's money this can be a source to reduce the tax burden on the local property owners. Have always disliked the additional tax at motels, especially in Florida but took it as a necessary evil. I live in Georgia and the sales tax can vary by several cents across county lines. I shop accordingly.

Tom on January 1, 2011 4:28 PM

Food,water, and air should not be taxed. It is and will be more so in the future. We also travel near a state (KY) about every two months that does not tax the purchase of food and at that time we stock up on things like rice and beans etc., anything that will store safely till our next visit. We are in TN and they have no state income tax but hammer in the tax on food and all else. Wish it were not so needed but TN is a great state.

Scottish Lady on January 1, 2011 4:44 PM

I would have to agree that it is a necessary evil, but only if those in charge are good stewards of what money they have to start with. But here in Lex, KY our council people make over $100,000 for a part time job, have another full-time job and seem to waste what money they spend on projects for their buddies. Save some of the tax payees money by not collecting a salary. Having a position on the council is about power to help your buddies, farther your name and make connections, or do good for the community. Making $100,000 plus salary is a unneeded bonus.

Rick on January 1, 2011 7:29 PM

Boy, you sure showed them who's boss! You might want to check which party actually runs this town- looks like in '08 they voted 2 to 1 for McCain. I did some research and this is one poor miserable little town. I guess a big city engineer who drives through the town several times a year can't be expected to throw in 6 cents when he buys coffee. You should probably check the politics of every town you drive through from now on- being in Kentucky, I don't think you'll find many Democrats in office. And, oh, by the way, thanks for sending Rand Paul to the senate. At least he upholds the national image of Kentucky!

Kathleen Nelson on January 1, 2011 8:18 PM

This is not a D or an R issue. It is an issue of tax and spend politicians who cannot resist a grab at the citizens money to fund their pet projects or favor their contributors and cronies.

Until ALL of our politicians stop making their mission to see how many projects or programs they can create and fund, we will never get out of the deep hole in which we currently sit. Further, until our politicians work to stem the increasing dependency class in this country, we will never get back to self-sufficiency that made this country great. (And yes, the dependency class also includes those involved in crony capitalism.).

When the recipients outnumber the contributors, what then?

KJ Green on January 1, 2011 9:06 PM

As part of the disappearing middle class, I feel the only fair way get out of the financial mess us boomers have created is:flat rate income tax,user fees,increse the inheritance tax,and more green taxes on flying.

roy on January 1, 2011 11:06 PM

I recently retired from a job in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. I live approximately 62 miles away from Cleveland and made this commute every day for over 13 years. During that time I was paying Cleveland city taxes to the tune of over $2700.00 annually, all so I could enjoy a decent salary from a job in the city. I never used any infrastructure, except to drive approximately 1/2 mile on city streets. Cleveland does not allow non-residents to file for a return of any of those taxes. Whatever happened to No Taxes for No Representation.

Jim Roberts on January 1, 2011 11:30 PM

Rick, who the town voted for in the presidential election of 2008 has absolutely no bearing on which party runs the town. My small rural town in WV voted overwhelmingly for McCain in 2008 and you can be assured that any Republican you encounter here is a tourist.

Mack on January 2, 2011 11:43 AM

Make a thermos of your own coffee; it's probably better anyway. Don't patronize excessive tax businesses. Support repealing the taxes you feel are unfair. The minimum wage guy at the window doesn't deserve your venting wrath. Get out of your vehicle, talk to the manager about why you won't patronize his business anymore. They know where their net profit comes from.

Nodak on January 2, 2011 11:59 AM

Try this one: spend a night in Atlantic City, New Jersey as i do several times a year. I am a gambler who gets "comped" by the big casinos for a couple of nights 'free' and pay for the third night @ $65.00 But when i check out my bill comes to over $105.00 I questioned this once. The answer I recieved from the hotel checkout clerk: $.50 per night phone fee(not for using it--just having it in the room), $2.00 per day parking tax (levied only on patrons of casino hotels),$5.00 per day "resort fee"( no-one, it seems, knows who gets this money)and the rest is hotel tourists' 'tax' levied by the State of New Jersey, the county, and Atlantic City itself. It works out to a over 50 %. These 'fees' and taxes apply to the 'free' nights as well as the night i pay for my room. Seems New Jersey can and does tell it's businesses they can 'give' their products and services away to their customers but the 'state' is going to tax them as if they had paid. Don't you love Democrats??

Bobby Brown on January 2, 2011 2:28 PM

It's not just a KY issue: In our state of Massachusetts our towns were given the ability to charge a restaurant tax. I was at the town meeting where this came to a vote and despite a plea by some of the local restaurant owners (and my vote) the measure was passed in my town and now a number of other towns in the state.

You should also keep the right perspective on this issue. It's not the restaurants that are at fault for this issue, they are just the ones who have been forced to turn into tax collectors. It's also not like it's anything new: I think pretty much every state is collecting a gas tax and a tax on cigarettes. This is just the newest tax with plenty more to come - Next will probably be the candy stores. So I figure if I am going to hold the restaurants responsible I am also going to need to stop buying gasoline.

Mark on January 3, 2011 9:06 PM
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