From: Craig Walker
Sent: Mon, Sep 23, 2013 4:39 pm
Subject: Re: Community Alert ! Black Dog restaurant scheduled to receive tax rebates
To the Council members and Staff,
I just read in the News Gazette about a Black Dog restaurant contemplating opening in downtown Champaign and it quoted TJ Blakeman as saying a food and beverage tax and sales tax rebate are being contemplated.
While we can appreciate Black Dog opening in downtown Champaign to utilize these taxes would be a gross negligence of duty to approve. The restaurant will not generate significant new customer traffic and instead would be pulling customers from existing businesses that are paying the F&B and Sales tax. So the net result will be a decrease in overall F&B and Sales tax receipts to the City.
What is even more appalling is that it is my understanding Mayor Gerard is championing this cause to exempt this restaurant from their taxes and yet he was the leading advocate to not exempt the churches from the storm water tax. Seems to be it is Mayor Gerard’s policy to help white business owners while ignoring the needs of the black churches and business owners.
Pickens Chicken just opened a restaurant on north 4th street. Did TJ Blakeman contact them about getting a F&B tax rebate ? Did Mayor Gerard champion them for city assistance ? Of course not. In fact of all the tax rebates considered and approved since Mayor Gerard took office not one has gone to an African American entity or neighborhood.
And all you ” Conservative Republicans ” on the Council , Bruno, Feinen, McIntosh, do you believe in limited government except when your buddies like Alan Nudo a known Republican operative, is seeking government rebates on taxes ?
To the community I want to demonstrate to you very clearly Mayor Gerard does not fight for our community on important issues like exempting our churches on the stormwater taxes but will fight for his buddies like Carlos Nieto, the owners of Black Dog and Doug Larson to receive tax rebates/city services that are not available to the community.
I urge the members of Council who are independent in their thinking and rational as to the loss of revenue to the City when revenue is precious to reject this request from Black Dog Restaurant. Any attempt by staff to characterize such a rebate to Black Dog as revenue neutral is not correct and a blatant distortion of the facts.