Cedar Fair building on record revenue

Cedar Point's parent company expects attendance boost from Kings Island's new Banshee coaster
Associated Press
Apr 21, 2014

 

A new roller coaster at southwestern Ohio's Kings Island theme park is expected to contribute to another year of record revenue and attendance for its parent company.

Sandusky-based Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. owns the park in Mason, near Cincinnati, as well as Cedar Point in northern Ohio.

Net revenues last year reached $1.14 billion. A record-breaking 23.5 million visitors in 2013 attended Cedar Fair's 15 amusement and water parks in Ohio, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan and Canada.

The company is expected to get an attendance boost out of the new Kings Island coaster called Banshee, which debuted with the park's opening for the season on Friday, according to the Dayton Daily News (http://bit.ly/1i8j7gH ). The $24 million ride is being touted as the world's longest inverted roller coaster.

The Great Recession that began at the end of 2007 hurt Cedar Fair's results in 2009. Net revenues dropped to approximately $916 million that year from more than $996 million in 2008. Sales returned in 2010 above the year before, to $977.6 million, and have risen every year since, according to the company.

"During a time of recession, we may lose some people who can no longer afford to come to our properties, but we might also pick up the middle-class to higher-income family that's choosing to forgo that trip to Florida and stay closer to home," said Stacy Frole, the company's vice president of investor relations.

Cedar Fair is investing about $145 million this year in new rides, technology and other park improvements across the company, including the new Banshee steel roller coaster, Frole said. About $120 million was spent in 2013.

Kings Island and Cedar Point each draw more than 3 million visits per year and are always ranked among the top 20 theme parks in North America, said Dennis Speigel of the consultant group International Theme Park Services.

 

Comments

sugar

Time to increase the admissions tax. The working people that live in the city are not building on record revenue.

KnuckleDragger

You mean non-working, or barely working.

JT Adams St

We're working on it. Supporters of an admissions tax increase will be meeting at 9 am on Saturday at the central fire station on Market Street. Everyone who supports an admissions tax increase is welcome to attend.

IT'S ME

What % is the admission tax in Mason, Ohio at Kings Island? We should be charging at least the same as they are being our city's are similar in having an Amusement Park and Indoor/Outdoor Waterparks.

lifetimeresident

Couldnt agree more. If their doing good they should pay more for the city and the residents who are not working or wont work. Share the wealth. Any other local companies and hotels should give more too! If they plan on making money they should plan on giving it up to us. Thats just the way it works.

KnuckleDragger

You left out all the rich attorney's that live on Cedar Point Road. lol

Nemesis

Lifetimeresident: "If they plan on making money they should plan on giving it up to us. Thats just the way it works."

Sounds like a mobster talking about a protection racket. How apropos.

holysee

CP needs to increase prices, especially for fast lane pass to keep out the undesirables.

Nemesis

I've often said I'd pay a premium to go on a no-hillbilly day when they set a minimum tooth-to-tattoo ratio for admission.

Babo

LOL, so you admit that many of the people Cedar Point attracts as customers aren't the same quality as people who live in Mason Ohio and not good enough to associate with you. Yet you want the people of Sandusky to subsidize their recreation?

Nemesis

"LOL, so you admit that many of the people Cedar Point attracts as customers aren't the same quality as people who live in Mason Ohio"
Nor are a lot of Kings' Island visitors, but their money spends the same.

"Yet you want the people of Sandusky to subsidize their recreation?"

In what way do the people of Sandusky subsidize their recreation? This should be fun.

DGMutley

The people in Sandusky are footing the bill for the infrastructure that is being provided for Cedar Point.

Nemesis

No they're not. Cedar Point relies on less than 4 miles of Sandusky roads, for which the current admissions tax, plus income taxes of CP employees, pays many times over.

Babo

You forgot the enormous seasonal increase in water and sewer capacity that the City must provide but doesn't actually need to support its year round population and growth.

Also, provide some evidence to support your statements that the income taxes and admissions taxes fully pay for the streets, bridges, extra police and fire protection.

Finally you fail to include quality of life issues. Residents must contend with noise, pollution, and traffic from an explosion in the temporary population consisting in large part of people you stated are beneath you.

DGMutley

The population grows to 55,000 plus per day during the summer months.

Nemesis

Water and sewer are fee based services. EVERY customer pays in direct proportion to the burden they place on the system. CP's marina alone uses literally TONS of water that never enter the sewer system, but, like you and me, they are billed for sewer based on water usage.

Current admissions taxes make up 20% of the city's budget, and their payroll taxes easily bring it to 25%. CP uses four miles of city roads for 5 months of the year. They have their own police force and EMS service, and can internally handle 75% of the calls a fire department usually receives. There have also been more shootings in purely local neighborhoods of Sandusky in the last year than on CP property in the recorded history of the peninsula.

Quality of life issues are the price paid for the thousands of jobs the tourist industry creates, and really, they fall mostly on people who live outside the city limits. They are more than adequately compensated by the quality of life upside - if not for the tourist industry, dining out venues in town would be dismal. There'd be no Zinc, no Crush, no sushi, you'd pretty much be limited to burgers, pizza, fried chicken and midwestern pablum.

richrs

Cedar Point doesn't pay the admission tax.

Nemesis

Yes, they do, and if you pressed them, they could show you the cancelled check made out to the city. There is no city tax collector at the front gate. In fact, CP ALSO pays the sales tax on everything sold in the park - it's rolled into the posted price. Neither the state nor the city cares whether they absorb the cost or pass it on, as long as they get their cut of the total paid for all transactions.

DGMutley

They collect the tax but they can't keep it or use it.

Nemesis

No, they PAY the tax, and are free to absorb that cost or pass it directly to customers. The customer no more pays the tax than my employer pays my cable TV bill.

Babo

You really believe they absorb the cost?! You never studied cost accounting apparently

The admissions tax just like every other tax, payroll, maintenance, repairs, supplies, and every possible expense associated with running the park is accounted for when the company calculates what it needs to charge its customers to turn a profit.

The customers not CF pay for everything! If this was not true, there would be no charge to enter the park.

Nemesis

I never said they absorb it - I said it was their choice to absorb it or not.

I fully understand cost accounting. That doesn't change the fact that, when costs increase, vendors can choose whether to accept a lower profit margin or pass the cost on to consumers, depending on the elasticity of consumer demand.

Babo

And a rise in the Admissions Tax to 8% (almost identical to the Sales Tax rate which consumers expect to pay) will have a negligible impact on demand for recreational activity.

Nemesis

Maybe, maybe not. Maybe it will mean the average customer buys one fewer ice cream cone in the park, which trickles down to a drop in Toft's sales to CP.

The point is, it's punitive and vindictive, it WILL have some impact on profits, and every year, whether you realize it or not, we're in competition with Mason, OH, which you've helpfully pointed out is much more business-friendly, for Cedar Fair capital improvement investment. Plus, other business owners will notice. There's a reason Mason is home to 50 other corporate headquarters - they know that the city doesn't have a burning need to put the screws to them, as you and your ilk seem to have.

The other pont is, it represents a completely unncessary 25% increase in the city's total taxation/revenue. That's 25% more that City Hall will be sucking out of the private sector. Now, unless you're the closet marxist you claim not to be, that's a bad thing. Even an avowed socialist like Tim Schwanger has said he doesn't trust them to spend it in the residents' best interest.

An increase to 4% leaves Sandusky more attractive than most amusement park towns while comfortably solving the current budget crisis and gives the city breathing room to take a serious look at its spending, hopefully with a city manager who doesn't scribble a budget on a scrap of paper.

The second step is to start offering thugs who go through our local courts a choice of jail or a one way bus ticket out of town, along with other steps to stop attracting more members of the dependent class. That's a part of my argument to which you've been carefully avoiding responding. Sandusky'e problems are caused for the most part by residents, not tourists - you can't lay responsibility for the city's failure to maintain a reasonable vestige of civilization on the tourists.

Babo

You raise some valid points. However, I maintain any increase in Admissions Taxes must be tied to a reduction in income tax and a modest increase to 4% isn't going to be effective in reducing the income tax rate.

Maybe 6% with a reduction to 0.5% income tax rate would work as long as there is a comprehensive plan to improve traffic flow and the appearance of the city. The goal is to attract productive people and as you point out many of the residents are not paying income taxes at all.

Nemesis

"I maintain any increase in Admissions Taxes must be tied to a reduction in income tax and a modest increase to 4% isn't going to be effective in reducing the income tax rate."

Nor is 8%. In a $16 million budget, the 3% admissions tax accounts for roughly 3 million. The income tax provides the bulk of the remainder, let's say 12 million. Thus, at 8%, you'd be adding roughly 5 million, which is still less than half of the income tax revenue. It's not workable.

"The goal is to attract productive people and as you point out many of the residents are not paying income taxes at all."

EXACTLY. Want to know who IS paying them? Cedar Point employees. In fact, I'd bet that during the summer months, CP's wittholding is more than half the city's cash flow. So, do you think MAYBE it might be time to drop the "residents subsidizing tourists' recreation" crap?
Look around. a 1% municipal income tax is pretty much the standard throughout the state. I bet Mason has it too. NOWHERE is it an obstacle to attracting productive people, because, unlike the bracketed federal income tax, it's flat, and thus regressive - to someone making good money, it's nothing. Frankly, I'd like nothing better than to shift my tax bill more to the city and less to the Columbus or Washington, because neither Kasich nor Obama ever has to worry about sharing a line at the supermarket with me and getting an earful about something stupid they've done with my tax dollars.

The income tax is NOT the problem. The problem is pink-and-black-hammer-wielding teen baby mommas - productive people don't want to live near them. The problem can be found any Saturday night at DJ's. Raising the admissions tax, or cutting the income tax isn't going to solve that. If the city declared DJ's a nuisance, I bet Cedar Point would GLADLY provide the bulldozer to flatten it free of charge. Sandusky's problem is that it's been governed for too long under the tax-and-spend leftist ideals embodied in your campaign, and that has attracted an overabundance of the dependent and criminal classes. When leaders make it their mission in life to confiscate from the productive in order to provide handouts for the unproductive, it drives away the former and draws the latter.

My beef with your campaign is the same as my beef (most of the time) with Tim Schwanger - it's all about rabble rousing a mob to figuratively show up with pitchforks and torches at the doorstep of anyone who dares to succeed at being better off than anyone else, demanding that they disgorge the fruits of their efforts to the benefit of the mob.

DGMutley

What does CP employee's withholding have to do with anything? That goes to the feds.

The pink-and-black-hammer-wielding teen baby momma is not the problem you're stereotyping. DJ's is a nuisance. I'm sure the city is aware.

Nemesis

Take a closer look at your pay stubs. Those working within a city have MUNICIPAL income taxes withheld from their checks as well, which go to the city.

They are the problem. No one wants to live or locate their business in Sandusky because of them. Sandusky's fiscal problems stem from having too many residents who live by a ghetto thug culture.

Sandusky residents don't subsidize CP visitors, but rather, CP visitors, as state and federal taxpayers, subsidize the food, shelter, healthcare, child care, and cellphones of entirely too many Sandusky residents.

DGMutley

The city never collected city income tax from CP's seasonal workers in the past. I don't know if they do now or not, probably not.

You keep wanting to indict the population for the random act of a mother using poor judgement. In all the years here in Sandusky I have never, ever, read about a mother egging her daughter on in a fight. You can keep indicting the people that live in Sandusky, the kids living in Sandusky, the City School system, and on and on, because that is your right. I'm just telling you that it just ain't so.

Nemesis

If the city isn't collecting income tax from all CP employees, then that seems like a fine place to start looking for more revenue. Enforce the tax laws on the books before passing new ones.

That random act is just this week's episode of Sandusky's version of "boyz in the hood." How many towns under 25,000 people surrounded by farmland have as many shootings as Sandusky? There are entire classrooms in Sandusky city schools where only on or two kids have grandparents over the age of 35. Talk to a realtor and ask them why people aren't lining up to buy houses in Sandusky, and they'll tell you what they told me. Everywhere you go within the city limits, you're never more than a few blocks from an installment of the SR's police blotter.

Yes, there are upstanding people living within the city, but unless they live on the Chausee, they live within a few blocks of thugs.

And yet, you keep wanting to indict tourism as some sort of plague upon the city, and want successful businesses that bring tourist dollars to the city to relieve residents of responsibility to pay for the services they consume. People in non-tourist cities pay for police, firefighters, snowplowing, etc., why can't people in Sandusky do so, the same way they do in Mason? And before you start in about the infrastructure burden, we both know that between payroll, sales, and current admission taxes, CP already pays in excess* of the cost of the incremental infrastructure burden attributable to their customers, so they're already subsidizing residents.

*Current admissions taxes constitute 20% of the city budget. Add in payroll taxes, and they easily are carrying 25% of the city budget, which is more than enough to cover the wear and tear on the infrastructure attributable to those who drive to and from the park without spending a dime within the city limits. As for water/sewer burden, they pay fees for those services in direct proportion to the burden they impose.

DGMutley

Nemesis,

The tax is not punitive and vindictive. It is necessary to maintain Sandusky city services for CP.

We're not in competition with Mason. Mason has nothing except King's Island which is NOT an island. Mason, as Babo pointed out, is simply a crossroads between I-71, I-75, and King's Island.

4 percent is not enough; it has to be at least 6.

Crime is present in all cities.

Nemesis

The tax IS punitive and vindictive - just read the rhetoric from its supporters. There are lots of cities the same size that manage to maintain services without such an admissions tax windfall, both with and without big amusement parks.

We ARE in competition with Mason. Every year, Cedar Fair decides where to make capital investments, based on the return they expect various options to yield. If King's Island is consistently more profitable, it will receive a greater share of the capital, and eventually, CP will be an also ran in an industry where also rans eventually become housing subdivisions.

Mason, as has been pointed out here, has much more than King's Island - they have roughly 50 corporate headquarters, because they don't have the class-warfare hatred of business that seems to permeate Sandusky.

Crime in Sandusky is completely out of proportion to the population size. There are first ring suburbs of Cleveland with twice the population of Sandusky with less crime.

DGMutley

Use Google Earth and take a tour of Mason. There isn't anything there except King's Island which is NOT an ISLAND, and I-71 and I-75 converging on each other 4 miles apart.

CP would be crazy to move their home office and to quit investing in their top money maker on the sandy shores of Lake Erie with all the fabulous islands just a stone's throw away. It would be a big, big, mistake -- it would be CF's downfall.

Nemesis

They closed one park in Northern Ohio already, one that was connected by public transportation to the largest metropolitan area in the state, and the main reason was a hostile local municipality. Kings' Island is more accessible, with major cities in all directions, and right off a freeway exit. It has a longer season due to being further south.

The last big proxy battle among unit was based largely on one faction's plans to move the headquarters. Cedar Fair owns parks where there is no winter.

That you keep harping on Kings' Island not being an island just shows how little you understand the business dynamics at play. That's a FEATURE for them, not a liability. Did you notice on your Google Earth tour all the vacant woodland they have into which to expand? CP is at the point where they can't build a major ride without tearing down two existing ones. Kings' Island already has coasters whose footprint would consume half of CP's land area. Sandy shores of Lake Erie? Gimme a break. In that industry, it's all about staying out in front of the thrill ride arms race, and those rides consume land.

DGMutley

The park is still open. Wildwater Kingdom.

I'm not harping on King's Island not being an island, but it isn't.

On the hand, Cedar Point and the Chaussee is an island. Nice virtual tour on Google's Earth view.

Nemesis

"The park is still open. Wildwater Kingdom."

Barely - there's no marketing effort to speak of. I have lots of friends and family within 10 miles of it, and none of them has attended it or knows anyone who has. It's comparable to the hotel water parks in Perkins. If you'd be happy with that sort of decline for CP, well.... Let's just say that 3% of CP's current gate is way more than 8% of Wildwater Kingdom's gate. Keep digging

"I'm not harping on King's Island not being an island, but it isn't."

And the Disney's Magic Kingdom is actually a private corporation inside a constitutional republic, with no monarch. Whoopdeedoo. You bring up its non-island status repeatedly as if it's supposed to make a difference in this discussion, when the only difference the non-island status makes is that the expansion opportunities make it a more attractive investment.

"On the hand, Cedar Point and the Chaussee is an island."

And thus, no longer, strictly geographically speaking, a point. All of which works AGAINST it as an investment, since they are running out of space.

DGMutley

""On the hand, Cedar Point and the Chaussee is an island."

And thus, no longer, strictly geographically speaking, a point. All of which works AGAINST it as an investment, since they are running out of space."

Cool. Score 1.

DGMutley

Nemesis,

Wrong. They pay the tax that they compelled by law to charge. It's irrelevant whether it shows up on the receipt.

Nemesis

No law compells them to charge the tax, the law compells them to PAY it. If they explicitly charge the tax, but do not pay it to the city, they are in violation, but, as long as the city gets paid, they don't give a rat's behind where CP got the money.

DGMutley

I could say it again but I won't.

shsalum

From everything I could see, Kings Island pays zero admission tax as there was a hearing years ago and their council voted against it. When you read the stories, some council members recognized all the revenue that the park creates for the city and did not want to jeopardize it. Interesting on their behalf.

Babo

Cedar Fair launched a scorched earth campaign against the tax even though it doesn't really impact their bottom line at all as it is paid by customers just like you or I pay a sales tax. Like here, CF controlled several politicians in a small community and was able to mislead the community.

Better comparisons would be larger communities such as Orlando or closer to home Cleveland where the politicians are not controlled by one big player. Cleveland charges 8% admissions tax on Browns and Indians tickets. Orlando charges 8% and has no income tax.

IMO, Sandusky should emulate Orlando and not a backwater one horse town like Mason, Ohio and charge 8% and eliminate the income tax to attract new residents and businesses.

KnuckleDragger

That backwater, one horse town sports a population of 32,000,about 6,500more than Sandtucky. It had grown by 40% from 2000 to 2012 unlike Sandtucky which has steadily lost population. The median household income is over $80K vs. Sandtucky $34K. 75% of Mason's population possess an education of a Bachelor's degree of higher. Backwater, one horse town? LMAO!!! You don't know what you're talking abut.

Babo

It's the county seat of Warren County, Ohio.

KnuckleDragger

Uh, Lebanon is the county seat of Warren county. Mason is more of an affluent suburb of Cincinnati.

Babo

Yes, I know. I tried to change it but the filters were not working last night and would not allow correction.

Mason is a bedroom community for Cincinnati which explains its explosive growth from a small town to a suburb. Those commuters drive up the value of real estate and provide a tax base but are too busy to run the town which at its core is still pretty backward. I'd compare it to Avon Ohio. .

I will concede that Mason is not burdened with the rust belt problems of Sandusky and the problem of a few families and special interest groups thinking they own the town. However, Sandusky has a lot more potential than Mason IMO.

Nemesis

Babo - those facts, they sting a little, don't they? None of your backpedaling changes the fact that it's growing and more prosperous than Sandusky. That's not because they residents are too busy to run their town - it's because they run it like Americans, not like two bit Fidel Castro wannabes looking to stick it to anyone who dares to be more successful. What you call backward we call capitalist. Lots of people are moving to Avon to escape inner ring suburbs run by leftists like you who think profit is a dirty word.

Notice that the topic of this article - this year's big expenditure in the thrill ride arms race went SOMEWHERE ELSE! With the demolition of Wildcat, CP dropped from having the most coasters, and the investment that could have restored that status went SOMEWHERE ELSE WITH A LESS HOSTILE COMMUNITY. If this campaign succeeds, within 5 years, CF's flagship park will be Kings Island

Yes, yes, by all means, let's look at a town where everything has gone well, and do exactly the opposite. Let's let the class-warfare, business-and-success-hating marxists do to Sandusky what they did to Detroit.

Babo

Wow, you're a bit histrionic.

Please explain why CP is exempt from paying sales tax like my business must do. Yes that's right I'm a capitalist who owns my own business, pays my employee payroll taxes, collects and pays sales tax, and marvels at people like you who continue to want to provide corporate welfare to billion dollar companies.

KnuckleDragger

CP does pay sales tax, it is included in the price of the product. Do a little research would ya?

Babo

You are mistaken. CP does not collect and then pay any sales tax on the sale of admissions tickets. It does collect from the customer and then pay sales tax on drinks, food etc which as you point out is built into the price. However admissions comprises the bulk of their sales and there is no sales tax on admissions in the State of Ohio.

Nemesis

Yes, they collect and pay sales tax on all taxable transactions, just like every other business in the state. The question of which transactions are taxable and whether the criteria are fair is a non-sequitur here, otherwise it would be germane for me to complain that Sandusky residents buying Diet Mountain Dew with foodstamps do not pay sales tax, but those paying out of pocket do. The point is, CP does not seek, nor receive any excemption from normal sales taxes, any more than you do by not having to pay sales tax on your wages.

Actually, admissions is NOT the bulk. Their primary performance measure is in-park sales. I've managed an entertainment business - the primary profit drivers are in-venue sales to a captive audience. Why do you think they don't allow outside food?

Nemesis

"Please explain why CP is exempt from paying sales tax like my business must do."

I have no need to explain your counterfactual fantasy musings. CP pays sales tax on every souvenir and every morsel of food sold.

"Yes that's right I'm a capitalist who owns my own business,"

You're a business owner, but no capitalist. You're a tax and spend leftist - you want the city to increase the amount it sucks out of the private sector by 25% or more.

"and marvels at people like you who continue to want to provide corporate welfare to billion dollar companies."

In what wild hallucination of yours is the very existence of an admissions tax, a tax directly targeted at a company's core business, and endorsing a modest increase in that tax, a call for corporate welfare?

Babo

My point was there is no sales tax paid on the price of Admissions to the park. Therefore the bulk of revenues are exempt from sales tax unlike most other businesses.

Recreation is a luxury, not a necessity. If people must pay sales tax on clothing or toiletries then they ought to pay some tax on recreation either through admissions tax (which remains local) or through a sales tax (which will be spread out through the State and county)to support the infrastructure needed to support it.

[C]ounterfactual fantasy musings" and "wild hallucinations" are ad hominem attacks that reflect poorly upon you by demonstrating you cannot argue the merits of your position.

Nemesis

"My point was there is no sales tax paid on the price of Admissions to the park. Therefore the bulk of revenues are exempt from sales tax unlike most other businesses."

Nor are sales taxes paid on my salary, on food for home consumption, and for a variety of services, entertainment being a service rendered. Also, admissions aren't the bulk of revenues and certainly are not the major profit center.

"Recreation is a luxury, not a necessity."

Then why does the city government need to spend money on it? Close and sell the parks, shut down the recreation department. There, you've shown us the way to solve the budget crisis with no new taxes - maybe some glimmer of capitalism survives in your hear after all.

"If people must pay sales tax on clothing or toiletries "

In some states, they don't. Some of those states might have amusement parks, where one can buy a souvenir t-shirt tax free. What should fall under the sales tax is a separate issue, though (one on which I could go on at some length.)

"then they ought to pay some tax on recreation either through admissions tax (which remains local) or through a sales tax (which will be spread out through the State and county)to support the infrastructure needed to support it."

AND IT ALREADY IS, at a rate that currently exceeds the total local portion of sales taxes, but that's apparently not enough taxation to sate your marxist appetites.

""[C]ounterfactual fantasy musings" and "wild hallucinations" are ad hominem attacks that reflect poorly upon you by demonstrating you cannot argue the merits of your position."

No, they're not. They are characterizations of the degree to which your assertions are fallacies. What reflects an inability to argue the merits is your attempt to cry ad hominem rather than defend those assertions as reasonable. Oh, and I seem to remember SOMEONE calling me histrionic.....

The claim that CP is excempt from sales tax is counterfactual - they enjoy no excemption from the EXACT same sales tax laws as every single other business in the state. Certain types of transactions are UNIVERSALLY excempt from sales tax no matter who engages in them, and CP happens to engage in those transactions. Your assertion is akin to claiming Meijer "is exempt from paying sales tax like my business must do" because a large part of Meijer's business is untaxable grocery sales. Calling your false assertion musings was actually a favor, as most other terms I might have used would assign far greater responsibility for the counterfactual nature of the words.

The characterization of my position as advocating corporate welfare is similarly so far outside the realm of reality as to warrant suspicions it's the result of hallucination. I've supported the current admissions tax, which targets one local business in an almost punitive fashion, and advocated a modest increase.

DGMutley

It's more prosperous than Sandusky because the city isn't underfunded. Mason is similar in size to Sandusky but their city budget is 24 million a year compared to our 16 million. With all Sandusky city services compared to Mason's the budgets should be flip-flopped.

They have 39 police officers and 60 firefighters which is comparable to Sandusky. The town is 18 sq. miles to our 21 sq. miles. King Island sits right off of I-71 so the traffic is in and out without beating up the town.

KnuckleDragger

Sandusky is underfunded because a large percentage of the tax base (income taxes) work very little or don't work at all. In a city filled with the entitlement crowd that explains why Mason is more successful. People work, and pay taxes in Mason vs. Sandusky where many people hardly work and feed from the government teat.

Nemesis

"It's more prosperous than Sandusky because the city isn't underfunded. Mason is similar in size to Sandusky but their city budget is 24 million a year compared to our 16 million."

No, it's prosperous because its residents are educated, productive people. Their city budget represents a much smaller percentage of the total economic activity in the community than does Sandusky's. Your assertion that prosperity is measured in terms of government spending further demonstrates your inherently marxist worldview.

"They have 39 police officers"

And how do those officers spend their time? Bet it's not breaking up gunfights at a place like DJ's.

DGMutley

No. The residents in Mason are more prosperous in terms of income than Sandusky residents but that is because Mason is a bedroom community of Cincinnati.

The CITY of Mason is more prosperous because their funding adequately covers their budget. Sandusky CITY funding hasn't been sufficient to run the city for at least the last several years. The budget is the same as it was 13 years ago.

Nemesis

No, the CITY of Mason is more prosperous (i.e. receives more revenue) BECAUSE its citizens are more prosperous because, as I said, those citizens are more educated and productive. Their funding adequately covers a budget that is probably very lavish in services, because those citizens both desire and are willing to PERSONALLY pay for them with income taxes on themselves, rather than bleeding the businesses that bring jobs and further prosperity to their community.

KnuckleDragger

LOL. Sandusky has potential? What would that be? I wouldn't exactly compare it to Avon. Try spending a little time there, its nothing like Avon, and Sandusky is dying and will likely never reach that potential you speak of.

DGMutley

I don't agree at all. Exciting things are happening in Sandusky!

The most exciting thing is the transformation of Sandusky's school district. Talk about world class -- our system will be the finest in the U.S.

Nemesis

"The most exciting thing is the transformation of Sandusky's school district. Talk about world class -- our system will be the finest in the U.S."

Dream on. A school is no better than its students, and nothing Sanders is doing will change the fact Sandusky's enrollment consists so heavily of multigenerational babies having babies.

DGMutley

Geez. Is that you Donut?

Nemesis

No, Donut joined you marxists on this issue.

DGMutley

The other Donut. The one that the turkey buzzards are looking for.

Nemesis

"Cedar Fair launched a scorched earth campaign against the tax even though it doesn't really impact their bottom line at all as it is paid by customers just like you or I pay a sales tax."

Look, do one of the following:

-show us a receipt from the city of Sandusky to an individual CP customer for DIRECT payment of the admissions tax.
-stop lying about who pays the tax.

CP pays the tax. They report their gate receipts, and cut a check for 3% of that amount. They can pass it along, suppressing consumer demand subject to the elasticity of that demand, or they can simply absorb it. NOTHING in the law restricts their options in that respect. Either way, it impacts the profitability of their investment here, and makes investment elsewhere more attractive. Given what's been posted about Mason's demographics, their residents are likely to grasp these basic economic concepts well enough not to fall for your demagoguery. They understand things like the Laffer Curve.

"Cleveland charges 8% admissions tax on Browns and Indians tickets."

Clevelanders taxed themselves to provide those teams with world class facilities, for rent that wouldn't cover half the interest on the construction loans. Are you prepared to do the same? If the city/county gave them even one tenth what the Browns stadium cost, it would pay for 3 or more record setting coasters.

DGMutley

There are a couple reasons the tax wasn't put on the ballot by the city commission in Mason.

In 2009 we were blessed with The Great Depression -- worst X-mas season ever 2008-2009.

Mason is home to 50(?), I'm not sure of the number, company home offices. A couple of these companies buy King's Island tickets as an annual event for their employees. The tax would have been a hit on these companies. A lot back-scratching was going on with defeating this proposal.

The demographics are a lot different in Mason compared to Sandusky.

----

I can't believe that Cedar Point doesn't have the same interest as the citizens of Sandusky in preserving Sandusky as a world class city -- the mission statement from our very own City Commission.

Nemesis

"There are a couple reasons the tax wasn't put on the ballot by the city commission in Mason. In 2009 we were blessed with The Great Depression -- worst X-mas season ever 2008-2009."

That doesn't address the lack of such a tax prior to 2008.

"Mason is home to 50(?), I'm not sure of the number, company home offices."

Hmmmm, I bet THAT helps the local economy. Maybe the reason they are there is that Mason lacks Sandusky's class warfare hostility to business. Maybe how they treat Kings Island and show appreciation for the jobs and spending it brings is how they treat those 50 other businesses. Maybe other businesses see Babo's mob outside the CP gates with pitchforks and torches and don't see Sandusky as very inviting to capitalism

"A couple of these companies buy King's Island tickets as an annual event for their employees. The tax would have been a hit on these companies."

As do many companies in northern Ohio with CP. Yet another reason not to bleed the goose that lays the golden egg.

"The demographics are a lot different in Mason compared to Sandusky."

Yes, it's a much more literate, educated community - all the more reason to emulate them. Instead, Babo wants us to emulate the thugs on Hancock Street in believing that "sticking it to the man" will solve all our problems.

"I can't believe that Cedar Point doesn't have the same interest as the citizens of Sandusky in preserving Sandusky as a world class city"

THey do, and they express it with all their voluntary gifts to the city and its non-profit organizations. Of course, if the city decides to screw them by tripling the admissions tax, that might dry up. The commissioners who manipulated Babo and his ilk to start this campaign would like that just fine - it effectively moves control of those funds from the various groups of citizens to the commissioners.

Babo

You misstate my case for an admissions tax. I propose to eliminate the income tax altogether and replace it with an 8% admissions tax now before Governor Kasich and the State of Ohio start taxing ticket sales at the park. CF cannot continue to argue that it ought to be exempt from sales tax unlike most other businesses if it isn't willing to pay its fair share of the infrastructure burden placed on Sandusky.

By eliminating the income tax Sandusky just might attract professional educated people and their businesses who see potential in rehabbing the City. However, that will not happen unless the infrastructure and traffic flow in the City are greatly improved and people who understand urban planning are in place.

DGMutley

Look at all the businesses that are building and expanding in Perkins that could well have built in Sandusky. The city needs to become more aggressive.

Babo

Correct, Perkins Township does not have an income tax. So where would you build your out patient and physicians offices facility (and all the $100,000 plus jobs) such as NOMS? Where would you place your business?

Also, I've asked the following question in the past and can't get an answer to it. Businesses must pay social security, medicare, federal unemployment, state unemployment and Workers Compensation taxes on employee earnings in addition to what one sees withheld from a paycheck.

Question: Does Cedar Fair pay all of the above business employment taxes on its seasonal employees including foreign workers? Also do foreign workers pay federal state and city income taxes and do they pay into the social security system and medicare systems?

T. A. Schwanger

###

Several communities with the admissions tax state on the ticket for admission "price includes percentage of admissions tax" meaning the cost of the admissions tax is included in the price of the ticket.

Communities with a local and county bed tax state on the room bill "room price include XX percentage of bed tax".

The bill at your local restaurant or commercial business states on the bill XX percentage of state or local tax.

The point--consumers pay these taxes.

If Cedar Fair is paying this tax by cutting a check out of their profits at the end of the year, they need to come up with another system.

Also be reminded a few years ago, in reaction to a parking tax implemented by the City Commission, Cedar Fair increased their parking fee to offset the parking tax. When a new City Commission was elected shortly after, the parking tax was rescinded by commission. Cedar Fair did not reduce the parking tax accordingly.

DGMutley

As Nemesis pointed out businesses have an option of including taxes in their pricing. This doesn't mean that it's an out of pocket (profits) expense for the business. They price their goods or services accordingly.

In fact, some businesses may include the tax in their cost of doing business and MARK THE TAX UP ACCORDINGLY --LOL.

At any rate, Cedar is definitely not bashful when it comes to pricing and why should they be if they are providing a top flight service.

Nemesis

Wrong, Tim. Words printed on a ticket mean nothing - the money is fungible. ALL vendors are free to adjust their prices to insulate their customers from a pass through tax burden. Go to any car dealership, and one of the classic negotiating tactics is an offer to "eat" the sales tax - they quote you an out the door price and calculate how much of it is tax on the backside. If my income taxes are overpaid, I am not required to sign my refund over to my employer.

"If Cedar Fair is paying this tax by cutting a check out of their profits at the end of the year, they need to come up with another system."

Why? It's the most efficient way. Would you prefer the city pay revenue agents to stand at the gate all day and collect it from each person entering the park? Talk about wasteful make-work bureaucracy.

"in reaction to a parking tax implemented by the City Commission, Cedar Fair increased their parking fee to offset the parking tax. When a new City Commission was elected shortly after, the parking tax was rescinded by commission. Cedar Fair did not reduce the parking tax accordingly."

EXACTLY- ergo, the customer saw no savings from the tax being rescinded because they weren't paying the tax.
The only time consumers actually pay sales tax is if they report online purchases on their Ohio tax forms and pay the Use Tax.

Come on, Tim, I may disagree with you most of the time, but you're usually way more astute than this.

Nemesis

"Correct, Perkins Township does not have an income tax. So where would you build your out patient and physicians offices facility (and all the $100,000 plus jobs) such as NOMS? Where would you place your business?"

Short answer: as far away from pink hammer wielding ghetto thug baby mommas as possible.

"Also, I've asked the following question in the past and can't get an answer to it."

CAN'T ?? That sort of implies you're not literate enough to use Google. More likely, you simply expect some "evil corporation" to relieve you of the need to do for yourself. Since it's Friday, I'm feeling generous, so.....

Per the Dept. of Labor:
-H-2B visa holders are required to obtain SSN's and their employers are required to pay all Social Security/Medicare taxes (Internal Revenue Code § 3121) the only exception being those from the Phillipines when working in Guam.
-All employers of H visa holders are subject to Federal unemployment taxes per IRC §§ 3111(a) and (b), 3301 and 3306.
-wages are subject to graduated tax withholding rates under IRC § 871(b) and to income tax withholding under § 3402(a).

You call yourself a businees owner? It took me all of 3 minutes to find this critical information for employers. Any more dumb questions, grasping at straws for ways to condemn those who dared to make a profit while bringing commerce to our community, Che?

Babo

Thank you. What type of visas do CP foreign workers hold?

Nemesis

H-2B, which is for non-agricultural seasonal workers, WHICH IS WHY THAT'S THE TYPE I REFERENCED. You're really going to have to step it up - I'm not here to spoon-feed you. If you're REALLY a business owner with employees, this is probably all on some poster you're required to post in your break room.

Babo

Thank you.

DGMutley

C'mon Nemesis, Perkins is just a pink hammer's throw away from the north side of Perkins Ave.

Nemesis

It's far enough, and notice that almost all the housing in Perkins is some distance from the Sandusky city limits. Sure, there's the little area north of OVH, but it's contained, whereas in Sandusky, it's metastasized througout the city.

DGMutley

Yeah, out there by the quarry. Joy. Joy.

DGMutley

Babo,

Cedar Point never used to charge their seasonal workers city income tax. Whether they do now, I don't know.

Nemesis

Then they were breaking the law. Enforce it.

Nemesis

"You misstate my case for an admissions tax. I propose to eliminate the income tax altogether and replace it with an 8% admissions tax"

I misstate nothing. That's exactly the proposal to which I'm referring. You want the residents to pay nothing for the services they receive from the city, and to stick the "big bad robber baron corporation" with the bill. That's ridiculous, especially when the biggest single cost is policing the antisocial behavior of thug residents that discourages tourists from coming into town and injecting more money into the local economy.

"CF cannot continue to argue that it ought to be exempt from sales tax unlike most other businesses"

They pay sales tax on every overpriced piece of plastic junk and every morsel of food they sell. The non-taxable status of most service transactions is neither new nor novel, nor, for the most part, controversial.

"if it isn't willing to pay its fair share of the infrastructure burden placed on Sandusky."

It's more than willing to pay, and I defy you to produce any sane accounting of city revenues and expenditures that doesn't show CP essentially subsidizing services for or because of local residents. 99% of CP visitors make one pass at the beginning and at the end of the day on roughly 2 miles of city roads, on which tiny patch the city can't even maintain a sufficient level of civilization that they can leave the park late on a Saturday night without the risk of catching a stray bullet as they pass DJ's. Go read the new SR article about the 30 year old mother trying to get her 14 year old daughter to beat another girl with a hammer - do you REALLY think these productive educated people you seek to attract want to live or do business anywhere near that? Here's a clue - they'd GLADLY pay a modest municipal income tax to avoid that.

"By eliminating the income tax Sandusky just might attract professional educated people and their businesses who see potential in rehabbing the City."

Doubtful. Municipal income taxes are flat, and thus regressive, impacting the less desirable residents at the lower end of the economic scale far more than the people you wish to attract. Quite the contrary, your campaign based on class warfare agitprop and sticking it to the man only encourages those in the city, the effects of whose behavior is more than sufficient to negate any tax incentives you envision to move into the city. Furthermore, the anti-business hostility you're fomenting repels business owners who might create jobs for all those educated people. Businesses are listening, and they hear you saying residents should get a free ride on the backs of any business that dares be successful in Sandusky. But hey, you go, comrade, kill the people on the mountain and take their treasure.

"However, that will not happen unless the infrastructure and traffic flow in the City are greatly improved and people who understand urban planning are in place."

Ah yes, the progressive urban planners, who beta tested every one of their national initiatives on Detroit - look what it got them.

What's laughable is how skillfully you're being played by the city commissioners. They knew full well an income tax increase would never pass the ballot, but they brought the idea up and you and your ilk predictably jerked your knees like Pavlov's dogs. This way, they get a $4 million windfall annual budget increase, which you will NOT be consulted on how to spend, they get to take control of every dime Cedar Point puts into the community (because all those gifts to community non-profits will disappear under an 8% admissions tax) and they don't have to take responsibility for any of the fallout, because Babo & Co. forced the issue.

Babo

It seems your goal is to persuade people not to invest in real estate in Sandusky Ohio or to relocate their businesses here.

Why are you so emotional and mean spirited about this topic? Your writing would be more persuasive if it was not so hyperbolic and unnecessarily long winded.

Nemesis

No, my goal is to get Sandusky to stop electing leaders and judges who appear to govern for the comfort and pleasure of those whose failure to embrace the social contract dissuades people from investing in the community.

My goal is to stop the class-warfare, screw-businesses agitprop that makes the city a hostile environment for investors.

My goal is to not have the commissioners manipulate people like you into doing the things they dare not do.

I'm not mean spirited, but some of your points are beneath the intelligence some of your other comments have indicated. Comparisons to the admissions taxes sports teams in Cleveland pay, with the half billion dollars in subsidies they've received? Get real.

Babo

Well, your methods in my opinion will not result in any significant changes.

Why not submit your resume for consideration for City Manager and work from within to change the castle?

Nemesis

1. I am not only a capitalist, but a libertarian, and my field is technology. My credentials, and CERTAINLY my beliefs, guarantee I would not even get an interview.

2. Again, I'm a libertarian, and lack the fascist impulse to boss others around. Thus, I have no strong impulse to be in government.

3. The suggestion that the City Manager can change anything is ludicrous. The City Manager system of municipal government was invented by socialist progresssives in the early 20th century specifically to make expansion of city government power easier. The manager is just another subordinate employee limited to doing the will of the Commission. That's why I support having an elected mayor with veto power.

4. My empirical experience contradicts your predictions of effectiveness. This is one area where I agree with Tim Schwanger - some of us can accomplish more from the outside.

I see your campaign, if successful, as horribly damaging to the community in the long run, and as further cementing the oligarchy at city hall in the short run. My efforts here represent a bet that you're smart enough to eventually see that.

It's glaringly apparent that the Commissioners only mentioned raising the income tax, something they knew they lacked a ghost of a chance at passing, to goad someone into doing exactly what you're doing - demagoguing a citizen effort to max out the admissions tax.

Babo

IMO, you'd be more effective and credible (like Mr. Schwanger) if you did not hide behind a pseudonym coming across like a paid shill.

Nemesis

Aren't you the one who was just harping on ad hominems? Issues, not identity are what matters. I doubt Babo is your given name.

Schwanger's name adds no credibility to his words. He gets attacked here more than I do.

Paid shill? I WISH!!!!!!!! If I'm anonymous, how would I prove to the payers that I was getting the job done?

Babo

Of course Babo is not my given name.

My point is you claim to have "empirical experience" but do not provide any evidence to support that statement. That you are not "bossy" but you are extremely bossy on these comment boards.

Tim Schwanger is far more credible than you because he personally sticks himself out there. It is why he gets "attacked" more than you.

Powerful people are not concerned with people whose ideas do not pose a challenge to their power but only to those people whose ideas do pose such a challenge.

Let us agree to disagree as these comment boards are not conducive to intense and extensive intelligent and civil discourse.

Pax tecum.

Nemesis

Your point is irrelevant. I don't need to present evidence to weigh your advice to apply for the city manager position against my own experiences of what has worked or not worked for me in life, and decide not to take your advice (which, incidentally, was to take a course of action that you also seem to have rejected.)

Where do you get off with "bossy?" Cite one instance where I've made any attempt to compell any action on the part of another? I've rebutted assertions, I've presented facts, I've made assertions of my own, but I haven't commanded anything of anyone.

However, that's at best a tertiary question, and I find your choice to focus on it interesting. There are a lot of points I've raised in this discussion which you've avoided addressing, while I've addressed all of yours.

Why should Cedar Point be responsible for relieving residents of any financial responsibility for the city services they consume?

Babo

Sigh...I hoped you would agree to disagree. Time is too precious to spend with a person whose choice of alias indicates a very negative spirit.

Definition of nemesis (n)

nem·e·sis
[ némməssiss ]

1.unbeatable opponent: a bitter enemy, especially one who seems unbeatable
2.source of harm: a source of harm or ruin
3.deserved punishment: punishment that is deserved, especially when it results in somebody's downfall

synonyms: opponent · archenemy · archrival · adversary · competitor · rival · antagonist

After reading a post by The Hero Zone under another story line I think "Munchkin" should also be added to the list of definitions.

.

Nemesis

What's in a name? It was chosen largely at random - the word closest to the name of a character in a science fiction novel I happened to be reading at the time.

Look, you've advocated something that can have a major impact on the community. I see that impact as negative. Think of me as the Lorax.

You've offered justifications for your proposal, and I've rebutted them. If you truly believe in your proposal, and that belief is rational, then you should be able to respond to those rebuttals. That is how dialectic works. While I'll admit, I've occassionally succumbed to the temptation to be colorful and descend into rhetoric, you've pointedly avoided responding to some major points in the discussion. I suspect that's because you're hesitant to discuss Sandusky's real problem for fear of saying something that will hurt someone's feelings. To that, all I can say is, if you want an omelett, you'll need to break some eggs.

And what they heck is Babo supposed to mean, anyway? It sounds like the name of a performing circus animal, but I'd never try to infer any meaning or reflection on you from that.

Babo

My positions are defensible but a rational person calculates investment of time v. return. Why invest my efforts defending positions and to persuade on one very demanding anonymous person on a blog, especially one who is so humorless?

Lastly, the alias has no known meaning. It's the result of a typo. The closet meaning I found is the term of endearment Lucy uses with Linus, as in "my sweet baboo" but that was not my intention.

Nemesis

"My positions are defensible but a rational person calculates investment of time v. return. Why invest my efforts defending positions and to persuade on one very demanding anonymous person on a blog, especially one who is so humorless?"

But you have the time and effort to make a fuss about my pseudonym. Now THAT is humorous.

"Lastly, the alias has no known meaning. It's the result of a typo. The closet meaning I found is the term of endearment Lucy uses with Linus, as in "my sweet baboo" but that was not my intention."

That was Sally - Lucy was his sister, and they aren't in West Virginia? (see, I do have a sense of humor.)

DGMutley

Without growth and just calculating for inflation, Sandusky's budget for 2014 should be 21 million compared to the 2001 budget. We aren't maintaining essential services. Look at all the layoffs and positions that are being left unfilled that should be filled to properly run the city.

Everything Sandusky does as a city is literally for Cedar Point's best interest. A modest increase in the admissions tax isn't going to sink the ship over at Cedar Point but without it, it might sink ours.

Nemesis

"Without growth and just calculating for inflation, Sandusky's budget for 2014 should be 21 million compared to the 2001 budget."

That's ludicrous. Inflation has averaged 1.5% so far this century. COMPOUNDED, that's 21% growth over 13 years. Your figure exceeds the current budget by more than that.

"We aren't maintaining essential services."

But there are plenty of unessential services. The city government's job is to pave, plow, and patrol the streets, plus fire an ems

"Look at all the layoffs and positions that are being left unfilled that should be filled to properly run the city."

.....into the ground. Why should it take more people to run city hall now than it did before computers and other productivity enhancements?

"Everything Sandusky does as a city is literally for Cedar Point's best interest."

Get real. MOST of the money is spent policing thugs in neighborhoods CP customers never even approach.

"A modest increase in the admissions tax isn't going to sink the ship over at Cedar Point but without it, it might sink ours."

ONE MORE TIME FOR THOSE WHO ARE SLOW: I FULLY SUPPORT a MODEST increase to 4%, as opposed to nearly tripling the tax as Babo advocates.

DGMutley

My inflation figures are correct. I think it was 30.6 since 2001. The city budget in 2001 was 16 million the same as this year's. That means we are actually spending 11 million in 2001 money. Quite a cut from 2001 levels. Staffing is down across the board. We need to bring staffing levels back up to at least what they were in 2001 and then some. Our budget should be running 25 million dollars a year; not 16 million.

We need 6 percent. 4 is not enough.

Nemesis

Real inflation is about 2/3 of CPI figures during a recession, because the government figures are massaged to make things seem better. Also, given that the city has lost 10% or more of its population in that time, per resident spending exceeds your estimates even more.

In any event, it doesn't matter. There's almost no jurisdiction in the USA where government spending hasn't been excessive for the last 30-40 years. It's time for people to wipe their own noses and stop expecting Big Brother to do it for them.

How much of city spending is to clean up private properties in town rather than hold landowners accountable?

Why should staffing levels increase? What would these additional staffers do, other than intrusively tell residents how to live their lives? We've already seen in the last year, Supreme Court rulings specifically telling Sandusky City Hall to mind its own business. Why is it that all the economic development is out in the townships, where there's LESS government that does LESS, intrudes LESS, taxes LESS and commands LESS?

4% solves the immediate budget crisis, without giving the commissioners a windfall to use moving city hall. There are plenty of cities in Ohio with no cash cow amusement parks and no admissions taxes that manage to pave their streets. Mason paves their streets without ANY admissions tax, but then again, they don't have a virtual banner on their city hall saying "businesses NOT welcome."

DGMutley

http://www.usinflationcalculator...

It does matter really. What would you think, living back in 2001, if your city whacked 5 million off your next year's 16 million dollar budget? Cutting cops, firefighters, service personnel, engineers, everything.

That's where we're at. It's a crime that Sandusky doesn't have a public swimming pool! It's a crime that we want to give away the Surf's up property because we can't find VOLUNTEERS TO MAINTAIN IT. etc.

Nemesis

It's not a crime; it's yet another reflection of the demographic problem. Making sure your kids know how to swim is a very middle class thing. Pools with a population of kids whose parents don't see that they learn to swim is a liability nightmare. Cities all over the country are having to alter their recreational mix to cope with that.

Surf's Up closed because of the very problems I'm citing. People stopped going there because of the thugs. They could have saved it by privatizing it, because a private owner could enforce behavioral rules that would prevent that.

DGMutley

A recreational facility for residents and visitors doesn't have to be a profitable venture to justify its existence. I believe that the lack of revenue was the reason at the time to shut it down.

There was no legitimate reason for the city to shut it down except to cut costs and further the interests of CP. The reverse was the consequence.

Downtown merchants also cut their noses off to spite their faces by not supporting the pool. Another reverse consequence.

If there was a behavior problem at the pool that's a management problem.

Nemesis

"A recreational facility for residents and visitors doesn't have to be a profitable venture to justify its existence. I believe that the lack of revenue was the reason at the time to shut it down."

No, it doesn't necessarily have to be profitable, but it has to attract contributing productive members of the community or it becomes just another nexus of blight.

"Downtown merchants also cut their noses off to spite their faces by not supporting the pool. Another reverse consequence."

Why should they have supported it? Once the thugs drove all out all the non-thugs, it wasn't attracting potential customers for those businesses.

"If there was a behavior problem at the pool that's a management problem"

No, it isn't. As a government-owned and run facility, their hands were tied. Cedar Point works very hard to preserve an atmosphere that desirable customers prefer - they have dress codes and have exercised the right they reserve to eject someone for foul language, t-shirts advocating drug use, or what, in their judgment, constitutes gang colors. A public facility can't do this because it is bound by the First Amendment. Not all behavior that drives away patrons is illegal or sanctionable by government. I'm not complaining about the First Amendment, but it does create a situation where only private entities can legally maintain an atmosphere that is attractive to productive, contributing people.

I would have sold the facility to a private operator with conditions on the sale limiting admission prices so they would be comparable to under city management. Alternatively, the city could spend whatever they had spent on running it subsidizing passes for residents.

DGMutley

A behavior problem certainly does fall back on management; whether the enterprise is public or private is irrelevant -- problem in the library, kick the person(s) out.

The facility was closed because it cost money to run it. I patronized the facility with my son and there was no "thug" problems. In fact, a swimmer wasn't allowed in the pool without a parent or adult.

Nemesis

"A behavior problem certainly does fall back on management; whether the enterprise is public or private is irrelevant"

As I pointed out, not all behavior which drives away users is sanctionable by public institutions. Similar public facilities have been sued for prohibiting behavior that drives away desirable patrons.

"The facility was closed because it cost money to run it."

And fewer and fewer people wanted to go there, because it was being dominated by a culturally degenerate cohort.

"I patronized the facility with my son and there was no "thug" problems."

It doesn't surprise me that you didn't perceive one. You've trivialized thug behavior as inconsequential in this very thread. In the case of the pool I'm not talking about pink hammers, but the other, less obtrusive behaviors that make non-thugs uncomfortable enough to choose going elsewhere.

"In fact, a swimmer wasn't allowed in the pool without a parent or adult."

Define "a swimmer" - do you mean child? It can't possibly include the entire 16-21 year old age group that is instrumental in promulgating degenerate thug culture.

DGMutley

I think you are all wet.

I don't know of any community anywhere that has shut down their swimming pool(s) because of "thug" problems. Swimming pools are fun places.

In fact, in all my travels around Sandusky in the summertime I've never witnessed the bad behavior you describe.

Go out to Venice Park on Bardshar Rd. or any other park -- there are plenty -- and check them out for that thug element -- you won't find it.

Nemesis

Think what you want, attendance dropped off, and everyone I've spoken to, or that anyone I know has spoken to, cited not feeling comfortable with the crowd that had come to dominate there. Most of the behavior they cited as motivating them to stop going was the sort of thing a public facility can't do anything about.

Middle class people abandon fun places all the time because those places experience a downscale cultural element shift. That's what killed Cleveland's Flats, and is currently killing their Warehouse District. It's even happened to a major amusement park in greater Los Angeles, to which Disney and Knot's responded with a much stricter dress code and other restrictions, because they saw what could happen otherwise. It's not about misconduct per se, but about behavioral norms within which people feel comfortable. As we've been discussing in this thread, those norms differ greatly between the productive and the dependent classes, which is why an influx of the latter causes the former to abandon neighborhoods, fun places, cities, etc.

DGMutley

You know of course that some would say that view tends to be a biased view.

The drowning that happened did have a negative effect on attendance but as far as folks not having a fun experience, if that was the case, I still maintain that would be a management issue.

All of our water parks seem to be flourishing with a diverse clientele.

Nemesis

It's ABSOLUTELY biased, but not in the way you want to imply.
In ANY business, there are customers you want, and customers who tend to drive the ones you want away. It's absolutely correlated to socioeconomic status, but also to education and what the dustman turned lecturer Alfred Doolittle bemoaned as "middle class morality" in "My Fair Lady."

Regardless of how you may feel about the preferences at work in this dynamic, there's nothing you can do about them in a free society. You can't force people to use a pool or move their home or business to a city, so if you can't create an environment they find attractive, they'll vote with their feet and take their wealth(and thus revenue)-generating capacity elsewhere.

"All of our water parks seem to be flourishing with a diverse clientele"

They are thriving because they regularly eject people for behaviors that, while they drive away the more desirable clients, are not legally sanctionable by state actors, and that does reduce the socioeconomic diversity of their clientele somewhat. Kalahari has backed down a bit amid false claims of discrimination, and it shows - I've talked to dozens of people who prefer Great Wolf and Castaway Bay because they do a better job of keeping "the riff raff" out.

WhatTheHeck

Please join us Saturday at Fire station house 1 on market Street at 9am. We need to get the word out there, that this admission tax is NOT on Sandusky voters! It is on the tourists, not us. Help everyone involved make CP pay they have been on gravy train for a long time. 2.5 per cent is just plan wrong, when King's Island pays 8 per cent.

Babo

Here's a link to an article in the Plain Dealer concerning admissions taxes in Cleveland and Cleveland Heights Ohio.

http://www.cleveland.com/clevela...

Cleveland has an 8% admissions tax on its big attractions such as Browns Indians Cavaliers etc but reduces it to 4% for small music clubs. Cleveland Heights just raised their admissions tax on music clubs and theatres from 3 to 5% but is considering going to a sliding scale for small music only clubs. Night Town a nice jazz club an restaurant pays no admission tax because it pays sales tax on its food and drinks which is the bulk of its business.

Note that the big corporate players such as the Browns pay 8%. Cedar Point draws a lot more people into Sandusky than the Browns do into Cleveland and the demand on the infrastructure of Sandusky is far greater than that of the Browns on Cleveland's infrastructure.

Nemesis

"Cleveland has an 8% admissions tax on its big attractions such as Browns Indians Cavaliers etc"

You CONVENIENTLY ignore the $519 million taxpayers spent building facilities for them. I'm sure that, if the city spent half a billion dollars on new construction for CP, they'd be more than happy to pay an 8% admissions tax. Oh, and as for your assertion that exhorbitant admissions taxes, absent such lavish giveaways, don't motivate moving a business out of town, tell that to Art Modell.

"Cleveland Heights just raised their admissions tax on music clubs and theatres from 3 to 5% "

OK, so you claim to be a capitalist, but you hold up the Soviet Republic of Cleveland Heights as an example? The most leftist, socialist city in the state? A city that productive residents are fleeing in droves, with the highest local tax burden in the state? Put down the crack pipe, please.

"Note that the big corporate players such as the Browns pay 8%."

Which wouldn't pay the interest on a loan to build the stadium the taxpayers bought them. That's not apples to oranges, it's apples to soybeans.

"Cedar Point draws a lot more people into Sandusky than the Browns do into Cleveland and the demand on the infrastructure of Sandusky is....."

Negligible. Most of them drive less than 4 miles on city roads and the city can't even manage to keep that short stretch any safer than Fallujah on weekend nights.

Nor'easter

Sandusky has built and rebuilt SR 250 and RT 6 repeatedly to facilitate faster access to Cedar Point. Sandusky has expanded Sewer and Water treatment capacity to over 10 times the population of Sandusky while ignoring the need to repave streets, separate storm and sanitary sewers that have been under federal court order per US EPA FOR OVER 20 YEARS, replace failing water lines that are over 20 years old. The city continues to be under sanction from EPA for discharging untreated sewage into the bay. Sandusky infrastructure has bee neglected for over 50 years when you look at Venice Heights, Alpine Drive, Buchanan Street Pierce St, Camp St Underpass, Tiffin Ave underpass. If you drive Hancock Street, you can see the bricks below the potholes. IT IS TIME to PASS 8% and start REBUILDING STREETS.

Nemesis

250 and 6 get state money, and most of the length of 250 that gets CP traffic is in Perkins Twp., which doesn't get a dime of admission tax.
The payroll taxes from CP more than cover the cost of the improvements you cite. If the city doesn't have the funds to cover services to residents, it's because too high a percentage of the city's population consists of the dependent class who don't pay taxes. The city needs to productive residents who produce revenue, but the people the city needs don't wsnt to live among pink-hammer-wielding-thug-baby-mommas.

Nor'easter

Please explain why Cedar Point Causeway is repaved repeatedly with local funds while local streets have not been repaired in 50 years?

Nor'easter

Please explain why Cedar Point Causeway is repaved repeatedly with local funds while local streets have not been repaired in 50 years?

Nemesis

Please supply citations to show that it's done with local funds.

Perhaps, by "causeway" you actually meant the road leading from 6 to the actual causeway. If so, if 10% of the cars in that seasonal traffic on that road stop and spend $25 inside the city limits, the taxation resulting from those transactions would cover the repaving. People keep missing the fact that without CP, the local economy would be nonexistent.

Of course, a lot MORE of the cars traveling to Cedar Point might stop and spend a lot MORE money in Sandusky, rather than Perkins, if they could do so with confidence that they wouldn't be shot (or hit with a pink and black hammer.)

I bet CP would be OK with being straight assessed the cost of repaving the entire route from their causeway to the Perkins/250 intersection, rather than being pinched to contribute to a city hall slush fund that would just be used to move city hall.

DGMutley

All the roads are paid for with a percentage of local funds. Block grant after block grant is used in some way for Cedar Point under the guise of community development when the main benefactor is CP. I'm not against this but as Nor'easter says the rest of the roadways in Sandusky have gone to pot.

This mythical 8 million spent from 10% of CP traffic will pay for what, how? Sandusky receives no sales tax receipts.

Bottom line is that the Cedar Point guests end up being 25.5% of Sandusky's population on a year round basis. Cedar Point's current admission tax amounts to only 13 percent of the 21 million dollar budget that the budget should be.

You complain about the mother that encouraged her daughter in a fight with her peers but you aren't interested in bringing staffing back to what it is supposed to be in the police dept. They're understaffed and under equipped. Yes, they don't have all that modern technology that you spoke of in one of your posts. No bells and whistles.

Nemesis

"Sandusky receives no sales tax receipts."

But it gets income taxes from the employees of the businesses sustained by CP visitor spending in the city.

"Bottom line is that the Cedar Point guests end up being 25.5% of Sandusky's population on a year round basis. Cedar Point's current admission tax amounts to only 13 percent of the 21 million dollar budget that the budget should be."

It's over 20% of what the budget IS, and in any event, it's more than enough to cover the incremental burden on the infrastructure.
Here's a thought experiment for you. Say tomorrow we wave a magic wand and CP is gone. No more tourist burden on infrastructure, but also no more admissions tax. Do you think that the city would suddently have enough money? Do you think they'd be BETTER funded, because that's the clear implication of your position - that the revenue generated by CP tourism is exceeded by the incremental costs.

The city's budget would be no more than $13 million, assuming all the CP employees had other jobs, but that four measly miles of road would be less travelled. Of course, half the businesses ON most of that stretch of road, would be gone - no Thirsty Pony, no hotels, no Tokyo Rock. Of course, DJ's (AKA the OK Corral) would still be there, because, like most of the local nexi for criminal behavior, it's a local hangout.

If, as you claim, the residents are subsidizing CP, then that scenario would be an improvement. If, as you claim, Sandusky's fiscal woes are not homegrown, then the 1% income tax typical of most Ohio cities would be sufficient to meet municipal needs in the absence of the tourist influx. It's pretty simple - if CP is a net drain on city finances, then removing it from the picture should close the gap - we both know that it wouldn't.

The commissioners need to work from that starting point. City finances need to be sustainable regardless of Cedar Point's existence. What Sandusky needs is a higher percentage of productive taxpaying residents. Plenty of other cities the same size get by on 1% of their residents' income. If you want a $21 million annual budget, the way to get it is to have a population with the skills and ambition to collectively earn $1.8 billion a year, like Mason does. For that, you need a town where the crime rate doesn't actually DROP when 30,000 bikers come to town for a week. Stop asking government to tax someone else to solve your problems.

"You complain about the mother that encouraged her daughter in a fight with her peers but you aren't interested in bringing staffing back to what it is supposed to be in the police dept."

It's not a question of police staffing - police response time wasn't an issue in that, or most other incidents. The problem is that mother will not face any meaningful consequences. It's a question of not having a revolving door for those arrested. It's a question of city government not kowtowing to the unproductive. It's a question of a local culture where a convicted rapist is considered a leading voice of the community. Also, it probably wouldn't hurt if the police department could dismiss employees who display judgment and behavior unworthy of 8th graders without being forced to take them back because the union won't allow the removal of bad apples.

DGMutley

"But it gets income taxes from the employees of the businesses sustained by CP visitor spending in the city."

I'll agree that there is an increase in city income tax from the "8 mil" but it isn't enough. If it were then we wouldn't have to look for more revenue.

"Here's a thought experiment for you. Say tomorrow we wave a magic wand and CP is gone. No more tourist burden on infrastructure, but also no more admissions tax. Do you think that the city would suddently have enough money? Do you think they'd be BETTER funded, because that's the clear implication of your position - that the revenue generated by CP tourism is exceeded by the incremental costs."

Yes. (lol) The burden is more encompassing than just replacing the main arteries to CP. Every service the city provides is affected. Long list.

CP is definitely a valued asset and a major driver of the economy in the area. Raising the admissions tax is not intended to be adversarial rather it is a benefit to all.

"It's not a question of police staffing - police response time wasn't an issue in that, or most other incidents. The problem is that mother will not face any meaningful consequences. It's a question of not having a revolving door for those arrested. It's a question of city government not kowtowing to the unproductive. It's a question of a local culture where a convicted rapist is considered a leading voice of the community. Also, it probably wouldn't hurt if the police department could dismiss employees who display judgment and behavior unworthy of 8th graders without being forced to take them back because the union won't allow the removal of bad apples."

Crime goes away when the police go away. That's not true is it? The mother's crime in question is "mickey mouse" stuff. It should have been handled on the spot rather than taxing our justice system. The same is true with the other "mickey mouse" stuff Lang and Ard took on with the police dept. The police dept is very capable of policing their own without outside management.

Nemesis

"I'll agree that there is an increase in city income tax from the "8 mil" but it isn't enough."

Of course, with government, it's NEVER enough. If it were then they wouldn't be constantly seeking more revenue.

"Yes. (lol)"

Yes, the city would be BETTER funded in a world where CP didn't exist? With a budget if $13 million? After you just got done claiming that it needs to be $21 million? Again, make up your mind.

Maybe a clarification would help.

X is the total costs the city has to cover in a world without Cedar Point.

Y is the costs the city has to cover with Cedar Point which is X+n, where n is the incremental fiscal burden caused by CP and its visitors.

P is the revenue the city would have in a world without Cedar Point - essentially 1% of full time residents' earnings where no one has a job with Cedar Fair.

Q is the revenue the city currently gets, which is P+(a+b+c) where a is the admissions tax, b income tax of 1% of CP's payroll, and c is 1% of all wages in the city attributable to tourism.

Your claim is that n>(a+b+c), i.e. that revenue attributable to CP is less than costs attributable to CP, and thus residents subsidize CP, and thus the city would be better off with P revenue. The only problem is that you think the city needs to spend $21 million, and P is around $12 million.

"The burden is more encompassing than just replacing the main arteries to CP. Every service the city provides is affected. Long list."

Name the services and let's go through them:

-Police - CP has its own police force. Residents generate more crime than CP visitors. CP traffic contributes a healthy percentage of traffic fine revenue.

-Trash - CP privately contracts trash removal, like most businesses.

-EMS - CP has its own.

-Water/Sewer - fee based services, all users pay proportionate to the burden they create.

-What else you got?

I could go on all day, but the fact remains that, if CP isn't there, NONE of the effects of it are there. ALL the burden is removed, and Sandusky is free to spend the entire $12 million budget on local concerns. Except you say they need 21.

"CP is definitely a valued asset and a major driver of the economy in the area."

What was that? An ASSET? Your entire thesis here is that it's a LIABILITY, that residents subsidize IT. It can't be an asset unless n < (a+b+c). Make up your mind.

"Raising the admissions tax is not intended to be adversarial rather it is a benefit to all."

Not adversarial? Read your own rhetoric, or that of your co-positionists. It's NOT a benefit to all - no matter what, it's an increase in the net subsidy residents receive from CP - if you're right, it's just an increase from a negative value. It's not to CP's benefit, and management will take that into consideration when deciding where to put the bulk of Cedar Fair's capital. Do you think none of them will ever read the CLEARLY hostile rhetoric your ilk has used? Leftists like you always make the mistake of operating under a static revenue model that assumes no matter how you change the taxation landscape, those taxed won't ever change their behavior in response.

Sandusky's revenue problems are not a result of CP. They are the result of decades of leftists encouraging the growth of the unproductive segment of the city's population, so that the overall population of the city lacks the wealth-generating capacity to fund the services they desire. Most cities in Ohio can fund their services with 1% of the earnings of their citizens - why can't Sandusky? Mason pulls in 21 million without any admissions tax, and, as you are so quick to mention, they don't even have a lakefront view. What's the independent variable? It's the people.

Back in the day, when Mike Dukakis was running for president, there was a public housing project across the street from my office. He came to speak at that project, and said that the horrible conditions in which the people there lived were the fault of successful suburbanites. As we listened to his speech on the radio at lunchtime, one of my coworkers said "hey, whose turn is it to stay late and go across the street and urinate in the halls and throw garbage around tonight?"

The people of Sandusky need to stop blaming CP for their problems, and turn their critical eye inward. They also need to stop expecting CP to solve their problems and look to themselves. Sandusky needs to foster a population with fewer aspiring Jerry Springer guests, and then the revenue problem will solve itself. More Sandusky residents need to stay in school, take it seriously, and postpone breeding until they are married and gainfully employed. Calls for more admissions tax simply mask the problem and remove any onus for change from residents.

To fund the $21 million budget you want without an admissions tax, with a flat tax on every resident alone, would cost about what most residents currently pay for cable TV and smartphones.

DGMutley

I never said the city would be better funded without CP; the 13 million is your figure. The 21 million represents what the budget should be in 2001 dollars -- which sustains Sandusky's city services for CP and its guests.

"Your claim is that n>(a+b+c), i.e. that revenue attributable to CP is less than costs attributable to CP, and thus residents subsidize CP, and thus the city would be better off with P revenue. The only problem is that you think the city needs to spend $21 million, and P is around $12 million."

Yes.

"What was that? An ASSET? Your entire thesis here is that it's a LIABILITY, that residents subsidize IT. It can't be an asset unless n < (a+b+c). Make up your mind."

Cedar Point is an asset. The CP guests not paying their fair share of Sandusky's city services provided for them is a liability.

Nemesis

"I never said the city would be better funded without CP"

Yes you did. Your position is that CP's presence causes a net reduction of funds available for the city to spend on residents. You said residents subsidize CP, i.e. that city spending attributable to CP's presence is more than city revenue attributable to CP's presence. If having something costs you more than you get from it, then not having it would mean more money in your pocket.

Your assertions absolutely indicate the city would be better funded without CP. You can't get away from that. But hey, I get it, math and logic are hard for some people.

"the 13 million is your figure."

Actually, it's the city's figure, based on numbers they've released.

These are the facts - you cannot change them.

-Currently, the city receives 16M in revenue (Q), and spends 16M

-CP pays AT LEAST 3M in admissions tax (a, we'll leave b and c out, which favors you, to simplify things), leaving residents to provide the remaining revenue of 13M (P)

Now, let's DO THE MATH:

You assert that the incremental cost to the city n, the part of the budget that the city would not need to spend if not for CP, is more than a = 3M.

Thus, if we take CP out of the picture, the remaining service costs to the city are X = Y - n = 16M - n where, ACCORDING TO YOU n is greater than 3M

Therefore, X < 13M.

If you assert that city revenues in a no CP world would be more than that, then it's on you to explain where that money would come from.

"The 21 million represents what the budget should be in 2001 dollars -- which sustains Sandusky's city services for CP and its guests."

That's YOUR unsupported assertion of what it should be. However, when we use the FACTS, and YOUR NUMBERS, and DO THE MATH, it doesn't hold water.

"Yes"

So then $13 million should be plenty. It's simple. If we eliminate CP, we subtract n (3 million) from Q (16 million) for total revenue P of no more than 13 million, and since n < a then subtracting a from 16 million in current city spending yields some number less than P, so the city would need less than 13 million to run itself. You're inherently contradicting yourself.

"Cedar Point is an asset. The CP guests not paying their fair share of Sandusky's city services provided for them is a liability."

Then CP is a liability. Economically, the park is the guests. You keep contradicting yourself. Your assertions are mutually exclusive, and you've also offered ZERO (another of those hard numbers to which you seem allergic) evidence that they are not paying their fair share. You can't even define their fair share. I suspect your real definition is "whatever it takes to create a socialist utopia of lavish services without the year round residents having to pay a cent."

DGMutley

We're off on a tangent discussing the what ifs that do or don't exist and speculating on costs and revenues.

A city which is increasingly dependent on tourism can't maintain itself or grow without taxing the tourist in some way.

Nemesis

"We're off on a tangent"

It's not a tangent - it's an objective examination of the evidence against your central thesis, which is that residents subsidize CP guests, rather than vice versa. You want to avoid it because you have no meaningful response.

"A city which is increasingly dependent on tourism can't maintain itself or grow without taxing the tourist in some way."

That's simply not true. Mason does it.

A city's dependence on tourism can function in different ways.
A city can tax the daylights out of tourists, and kill the goose that lays the golden egg, or it can take a small tax, like the 1% income
tax, out of a prosperous economy that depends to a varying degree on tourism.

Sandusky's fiscal problems stem from failure to foster a population with a sufficient percentage of people with the earning power to support the services they desire. Tripling the admissions tax does nothing to solve that problem, which will only get worse.

KnuckleDragger

Kings Island doesn't have an admissions tax.

Nemesis

@WhatTheHeck "Help everyone involved make CP pay they have been on gravy train for a long time. 2.5 per cent is just plan wrong, when King's Island pays 8 per cent."

Except that they DON'T - that has been a major topic in this discussion thread - do try to keep up.

Truth or Dare

With 3.2 Million folks visiting C.P. in 2013, attendance up 2.5%, if I've done my math correctly, take that figure and the additional $1.76 it would cost per ticket if there were a 6% Admission Tax, again if I did my math correctly, the $5.6 Million generated could help in repairing our infrastructure, such as street/pothole repairs, Tiffin and Camp St. Railroad overpasses and the flooding that comes with heavy rain, the removal of dead trees, etc., freeing up tax $'s to adequately fund the staffing, necessary training, all 3 Fire Houses remaining open and the Police Department? Or, is the jist of all this boil down to that should such an initiative even get on the ballot and passed, and the city gets ahold of such $$$'s it would be misused? If that's the case, shame on the City!

Nemesis

My calculations indicate that, based on the current percentage and current revenue, it works out to about a million dollars in revenue for each percentage point of admissions tax. Remember, not that many people actually pay full price for admission (I'm glad to say I don't know anyone dumb enough to pay full price with all the discounts available.)

You're onto something - now take it a little further. At 4%, the additional revenue would cover the current budget shortfall and give them room to get their act together. Unfortunately, any gains beyond that will be used to move city hall or some other harebrained scheme that doesn't benefit residents. Don't EVER give politicians extra money - it leads to mischief.

Nemesis

Hey Mutley, I just noticed that these two conflicting statements came from the same person:

DGMutley Tue, 04/22/2014 - 10:25am: Mason is home to 50(?), I'm not sure of the number, company home offices.

DGMutley Sun, 04/27/2014 - 7:36pm: Use Google Earth and take a tour of Mason. There isn't anything there except King's Island

So which one is it?

DGMutley

Must have been an impostor. The heartbleed bug.