Whitestown restaurants charging Zionsville taxes by mistake

WHITESTOWN, Ind. – Some restaurant owners in Whitestown recently learned they’ve been collecting Zionsville taxes when they shouldn’t be.

The restaurants have Zionsville addresses, but are within in the Whitestown municipal borders.

“The fact is that money is not staying in our bank accounts,” Caplinger’s Fresh Catch Owner Andrew Caplinger said. “It’s not something we’re collecting, that 1 percent, and putting it on the bottom line.”

Caplinger recently learned about the discrepancy and corrected the sales tax at his restaurant from 9 percent to 8 percent.
Caplinger’s Fresh Catch along with Buffalo Wild Wings, Flap Jack’s Pancake House and others have all been collecting a 1 percent Zionsville Food and Beverage tax for quite some time.

Whitestown and Zionsville officials are now working with the Indiana Department of Revenue to correct the situation.

"The Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) recently became aware of several restaurants in the Boone County area currently charging an additional one percent food and beverage tax that are not authorized to do so. Indiana's DOR continues to work with representatives from the affected municipalities to understand the problem, educate the business owners involved and provide a resolution moving forward to avoid any future confusion for current and new business establishments. We are in the process of evaluating the complexity of the situation and working toward a resolution,” DOR Spokeswoman Emily Landis said Tuesday in a statement.

Still, customers that frequent the restaurants in the affected area are upset the mistake happened in the first place.

“Well I’m giving money that I don’t need to give and I can’t afford to give. So that’s money that should be mine,” customer Jim Pampnell said. “Feel kind of ripped off.”

Whitestown Town Manager Dax Norton said he’s working state officials to understand the scope of the issue and learn what will happened to the money that’s already been collected.

He added the town council is working on legislation that would ask the USPS to change the addresses of businesses in the area from Zionsville to Whitestown ones to avoid issues like this in the future.

“That’s something that would be great just to say, ‘we’re in Whitestown,’” Caplinger said.