LAKE WORTH - Two local drive-in restaurants have asked Circuit Court for an injunction prohibiting this city from taxing them under it's new licensing ordinance.
McDonald's Hamburgers, 2315 N. Dixie, and Biff-Burger, 1726 N. Dixie, claim the new ordinance is invalid because it "vests in ministerial officials independent power to assess an arbitary tax."
And they say the ordinance classifies and taxes drive-ins seperately from restaurants, which the compaint terms is "arbitrary, capricious and without reason."
The drive-in owners, Prime Burgers Inc. of Lake Worth and Arapad Inc. filed the complaint against the City of Lake Worth, Tax Assessor Jack E. McGee and Tax Collector Carl L. Kopp.
They asked for a permanent injuntion restaining the city from assessing and collecting taxes under the new ordinance, and a temporary injunction during litigation. They also asked to be classified in the new ordinance as restaurants.
The drive-ins claim that under a 1956 city ordinance they have been classified as restaurants and paying the same fees for an operating license: $10 for the restaurant and 50 cents for each seat or chair, if the business has more than ten.
Under the new ordinance classifying them separately, states the complaint, the drive-ins must pay a dollar for each parking space and "an undeterminble amount of 'seats and or standing spaces,' " and they term the latter "arbitrary and discriminatory."
McDonalds has 37 parking places and Biff-Burger has 28, states the complaint, but restaurants with up to 48 parking spaces are not assessed the one-dollar-each space fee.
They claim that by classification seperate from restaurants they "will be denied equal protection under laws guarateed by" the 14th Amendment to the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution and Section 1 of the Declaration of Rights of Florida Constitution.