Ohio tax plan hits concerts, sports, even bowling

Expanding Ohio's sales tax might take some of the fun out of going to concerts, football games and amusement parks.
Associated Press
Feb 18, 2013


Gov. John Kasich wants to cut the state's overall sales-tax rate while also putting the lower 5 percent sales tax on a long list of new items that include circuses, arcade games and carnival rides.

Admission to fairs, museums, and theme parks would fall under Ohio's sales tax for the first time too. So would tickets to pro, college and high school games.

The governor is proposing sweeping changes in the way Ohio taxes businesses and individuals in his two-year budget that still must be approved by lawmakers. Kasich's plan includes reducing income, small business and sales taxes to stimulate job growth.

At the same time, his proposal tacks on Ohio's sales tax to attorney fees, cable TV and pet grooming as well as entertainment options.

"By broadening this tax, by broadening it, we're actually bringing greater fairness to the system," Kasich said last week.

Adding the sales tax on arts, entertainment, and recreation alone is projected to bring in $85 million to the state government over the coming two years.

It's also likely to add to the cost of seeing a ballgame or a play.

Some entertainment businesses and sports teams will pass the costs onto ticket buyers and customers while others are likely to absorb the costs, fearing that a price increase will drive away business.

"There has to be a decrease somewhere, either in my profits or customers," said Eric Bates, president of Bates Brothers Amusements Co., which is based in Wintersville in eastern Ohio and supplies carnival rides to fairs and festivals.

He worries that some cash-strapped county fairs won't survive if they're forced to give up 5 percent of their gate fees to the government.

"I don't know that it's wise at this time," Bates said.

Bowling alley owner Marty Teifke agreed that it would hurt to pay a tax on lane rentals.

"It's not easy to raise prices, and the economy is not the best around here" said Teifke, who runs Timbers Bowling in Maumee near Toledo. "It scares me to hear this."

Most entertainment businesses and groups that would be affected by a wider sales tax are still trying to figure out what the impact might be and how they'll respond, including Cedar Fair Entertainment Co., owners of Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky and Kings Island near Cincinnati.

Both parks have fought against past attempts by local governments that have tried to tax tickets and parking.

The addition of a 5 percent state sales tax on admissions would amount to $2.75 on the price of a $54.99 Cedar Point ticket at the gate.

A $22 Cincinnati Reds ticket in the upper deck ticket would generate $1.10 for the state.

Close to 70 cities and villages in Ohio already have some sort of admission tax with most coming in at 3 percent. Cleveland's is at 8 percent.

Tickets for high school sports wouldn't be exempt from the governor's proposal.

Jim Stoyle, athletic director at Centerburg High School north of Columbus, said he would want the cost of admission to go up. "That's the one thing I hate in sports today," he said.

Game tickets at the school now are $6 for adults and $4 for students. He's concerned that families would be stretched thin if the price goes up, especially for those with several children playing, and that the teams would suffer as well.

"Most of our high school athletic programs survive on ticket gate sales," Stoyle said.

Community theater groups would face the same decisions.

"There wouldn't be much choice but to pass along a sales tax increase to the customers," said Tom Neff, board president of the Chagrin Valley Little Theater outside Cleveland. "People would understand it's part of what you would have to do. I don't think there's any way around it."



nosey rosey

Since I already pay sales tax on satellite TV, I'm glad to see tax added to cable. Lobbyists were the only reason people weren't already paying the tax.


I agree with the cable tax. I too have satellite and thought it was unfair for me to pay taxes and not cable subscribers.


And since many people in the state are facing cuts and uncertainties, I assume our "leader" is taking his fair cut.


Lower the rate, expand the base. It also helps to soak up some of that underground economy money.

OH, like many other states is on it's way to eliminating the personal and business state income tax.

Ya get to keep more of what you earn - what a concept!

Way to go Gov. Kasich!


Sandusky failed to add 5% to the admissions tax for years and the condition of the city shows the neglect. Now the state will take the money and the city will continue to deteriorate. No guts by city commissioners and the state acted. I wonder if they will credit Cleveland for the extra 5% and collect it from here?



Does this mean the City can not increase the admissions tax under the governor's plan?

The Big Dog's back

Thanks kassick. Way to avoid taxing your rich buddies. Hit the working class, and hit 'em hard.


@ Dog:

So you want a new higher millionaire tax instead? Watch 'em flee the state like they do from NJ, NY, CA and others.

IL is bankrupt and has the lowest credit rating in the country. Maybe they should raise income taxes AGAIN?

You shouldn't care, you don't even live in OH do you?

The Big Dog's back

The rich will leave the state? That's so 20th century.


Is the governor going to tax financial transactions also?

Pterocarya frax...

Kasich's new tax plan is just the first step towards nirvana for rich conservatives...keep lowering taxes for the rich and put the burden on working and poor people.

As proposed this would raise total state taxes paid by everyone who makes less than $51,000/year. Those in the top 1% would pay an average of over $10,000/year less in state taxes.


Any small business owner who thinks this is a good plan, better start reading up. This broadening of the sales tax base will hit virtually every business in Ohio, not just the entertainment industry, as the article wants to lead you into believing. The time to collect,track and submit the new sales taxes for thousands of small businesses will be phenomenal, and will add to the accounting fees these businesses will have to pay. And oh yes, the accounting fees are now taxable also...as well as their commercial rents, merchant service fees, bank account fees, and the list keeps going. Here is a decent summary of how it affects businesses:


On the bright side, this plan is so horrible, Kasich won't be able to get most of it by even the Republican legislature. I suspect new Senate president Keith Faber will try hard, and may get enough votes, but it will never get through the House under crazy Bill Batchelder. At least not without MAJOR revisions.

The Big Dog's back

The biggest tax increase on the working class in Ohio ever. Thanks john.

Pterocarya frax...

You don't have to thank him, Brutus. The gifts and adoration from his rich buddies are thanks enough.


Really? Looking at the list of things that are going to be taxed, it appears that it will hit the rich just as much. Actually, there aren't many things on the list that I personally will have to worry about. Besides why should you care, you don't even live in Ohio and have no skin in the game.


Tax and spend republican...........
Tax the poor, spend more time looking for tax breaks for the rich.......


Look at the list, I don't know many poor that pay for things like legal services, tax preparation, etc. The effect on them will be minimal. I have to wonder if the liberal whiners have even bothered reading the list? I read it in its entirety and there are very few services on it that would effect most people, unless you are rich.


Kimo writes:

"Tax the poor, spend more time looking for tax breaks for the rich....."

As a certified rich person, when are you gonna donate your Soc. Sec'y check to charity and give up some of your other tax "loopholes" and pay your "fair share?"


no big dog the biggest tax on working class is OBAMACARE biggest in history

The Big Dog's back



You are correct bear. Doggie just likes to argue.


As usual, the conservative posts are from those living inside a non-reality bubble. Some services and goods WILL cost us more, thanks to Kasich. We're talking about real dollars, a higher cost out of pocket. And yes, this does impact the working class more than the 1%. From where I'm sitting, it's pretty obvious that the middle class are at the bottom of Kasich's priority list.


@ coasterfan:

"Working class?" Nice Marxian term. :)

One only pays the tax on what one uses.. Plus, all citizens get to keep more of what they earn in order to spend how they see fit.

It's called FREEDOM. An alien term for an authoritarian socialist.

According to another article:

Your OH teachers pension is grossly underfunded. Time for a reduction in the COLA? Citizens can increasingly no longer afford to pay for your rich health and welfare benefits.



Another liberal who didn't even read the list. Because us working class folks certainly use such services as Accountanting, advertising fees, call centers, and interior designers to name a few. Coaster is just angry because he will now have to pay taxes on his bail bonds. Now there is something that will hit the poor hard. LOL.


The one thing about Obamacare is you at least get services out of it. I'm not going to argue the little details, but it is a system that you are suppose to get stuff out of it.

What are we going to get out of this tax? For most people on this website, its not benefiting your school district. It's not going towards better roads. It's not going towards a high speed rail. What are we getting out of this?


Really? Since Obamacare was instituted my premiums have increase 30% with 25% of it coming in the last year, and the amount of services has been reduced. In fact we are about to be thrown of a plan that covers most cost with modest co-pays onto a high deductible plan with large cost shares. Yeah, Obamacare is doing great things for my family. It may be giving people who don't work or are minimally employed all inclusive medical coverage but at the cost of working people and retirees losing their benefits to pay for it.

2cents's picture

If I read this correct, yes the bowler will pay more as well as the amusement park rider. I also see that these business owner’s taxes will go down as well, this money can be either pocketed with a loss of customers or used for improvements and expansion to infrastructure adding employees, contractors, and other workers for the benefit of all. Have to see the fine print!

Really are you ...

Get rid of all taxes and have everyone everywhere pay one flat tax rate. On money we earn we have to pay federal, state, city, and school taxes on the gross. Then taxed on everything we buy except groceries. Have the poor, middle, and rich pay the same amount in taxes with no loop holes to hide behind to avoid paying the flat tax. Giving tax breaks to the rich has really created a lot of jobs, here in the States. Purposely over tax US companies using foreign countries for cheaper labor and bringing their goods back into the US to sell to US citizens.


Now why would they do that? Heaven forbid some poor baby mama with 8 kids won't get a $5K tax refund when she had a tax liability of $0. They'll never go for that, because it would mean a loss of their beer and cigarette money.


never ever thought i would read that dawg is against a tax hike.



He/she/it also doesn't believe in migration for tax and financial purposes.


The Big Dog's back

mikel, I never thought you and winnie would be for a tax increase.


Dog feces.