County commissioners chairwoman Ellen Reckhow wants help from the homefront to get Durham County's proposed prepared food tax through the state legislature.
Earlier this week, she sent a memo titled "Urgent Action Needed by Monday June 30" to "Concerned Durham County Citizens and Civic/Cultural Arts Groups," informing them the food-tax bill is in jeopardy and urging local interests to lobby the county's legislators in the bill's favor.
"We have hit some bumps in the road," Reckhow wrote in response to a reporter's emailed query. "So I thought we needed a little cheerleading."
State Sen. Floyd McKissick of Durham introduced the bill, S 1839 "Local Government Meals Tax," on May 21. Sen. Bob Atwater, who represents southern Durham County, was co-sponsor. The bill was referred to the senate finance committee, where it remains. Reckhow said the state House is "considering some language" that would block the county from paying debt service from food-tax revenue. Such language would hamper using the tax for some big projects like a local-history museum or a Durham-to-Roxboro trail along the abandoned railroad corridor, she said.