Legislation that would create a referendum on a meals tax for Durham County voters squeaked through the House today.
After the 60-59 vote, Rep. Wil Neumann, a Gaston County Republican, said that he voted incorrectly in favor and wanted his vote changed. Speaker Joe Hackney denied the request, saying it wasn't allowed because it would affect the outcome.
Neumann then asked to have the vote taken again, which the rules allow when the request comes from someone on the prevailing side. But before the vote could be taken, Rep. Mickey Michaux, a Durham Democrat and a bill sponsor, urged his colleagues to support the legislation, reminding them that it only gives Durham residents the right to consider the tax. He then made a motion to kill Newmann's request. It passed by a 62-56 vote.
The legislation now goes to the Senate.
If a referendum becomes law, Durham County residents could vote to add a one percent sales tax on restaurant meals in the county. The legislation states that 80 percent of the proceeds would go toward civic and cultural amenities, 10 percent for marketing, five percent for workforce training and five percent for community clean up.