Erbert & Gerbert’s: Sales Tax Comparison
By Doug Dalager
We recently dined at 7West Taphouse in both Duluth and Superior to see first hand how sales tax impacts dining in the Twin Ports. In that article we demonstrated how much more expensive it can be to dine in Duluth thanks to their higher sales tax rates. To see that article, click HERE.
In this article we shift our focus to subs rather than suds! We purchased the exact same items at two Erbert & Gerberts outlets, one in Duluth on Grand Avenue, and the other in Superior on Tower Avenue.
In both instances we ordered a sub for $5.29, a side cookie/chips for $1.29, and a cup of soup for $3.29. The subtotal on both bills was $9.87.
Then the tax guy got involved, Duluth sales tax was $1.05, and Superior sales tax was 54¢…a difference of 49¢. Hooray for living in Superior, Wisconsin where the sales tax is lower and the economy is in a nosedive of epic proportions!
The Better City Superior initiative proposes adding a ½% sales tax to restaurant food and beverage. This is a consumption tax that is levied based on the frequency of your dining habits. Cook at home a lot, good for you, you’ll seldom be impacted.
Go out to eat every night of the week and you’ll pay a bit more…5¢ per $10 spent in a restaurant or bar. If it means we can redevelop our downtown and turn this ship around, that may be a small price to pay.
I did the math on the Superior Erbert & Gerbert’s bill. Adding an additional ½% sales tax to that bill would result in an added tax of 5¢. Can you handle that if it means we can get Superior back on track? Even with this increase the comparative bills between the two cities would be 46¢ less in Superior.
A redeveloped downtown Superior would mean construction jobs for workers, materials purchased from wholesalers such as Manion’s Wholesale or Campbell Lumber, furniture and equipment purchases from businesses like Tri-State Business Systems, food and beverage purchases for restaurants from companies such as Upper Lakes Foods, Manion Foods, Saratoga Liquors, and Northwest Beverages, etc, etc.
Oh yes, once the buildings are built and the open for business, they will need to have employees to work in them. Managers, servers, bartenders, cooks, custodians, office workers, professionals, hotel employees…and it goes on, and on.
Additionally, people who work for other companies that serve or benefit from the new development will also see income opportunities and likely add new employees.
However, if we don’t Vote Yes on November 8th…nothing changes!
It’s just that simple people…Vote Yes for progress and positive change, or vote no for more of the same. More of the same will result in fewer jobs, our kids continuing to leave town, more vacant lots and store fronts, and property taxes that will continue to go higher and higher as the value of your house declines and becomes more difficult to sell when you’d like to trade up or retire.
So if you’re in favor of decline, fewer jobs, young people leaving town, and high real estate taxes, by all means Vote No. On the other hand, if you think we can do better…Vote Yes!
For more information about BCS, please follow the links below to read previous articles on ES about this initiative:
Bar & Restaurant Owners Favor Better City (October 28, 2016)
Labor & Business United for Better City (October 28, 2016)
Better City Superior Public Meeting (October 28, 2016)
Better City Releases Video (October 14, 2016)
What Price Progress? (October 12, 2016)
Better City Superior Issues Status Report (October 1, 2016)
Lunch & Learn About BCS (September 23, 2016)
Better City Survey Results (September 13, 2016)
Origin of Better City (September 9, 2016)
Better City Vision Shared (August 31, 2016)
Better City Receives Council Support (August 18, 2016)
Better City Wants Your Opinion (December 16, 2015)
Better City Initiative (November 5, 2015)