Sandusky to consider raising taxes

Commissioners expected to vote Tuesday whether to place tax issue on November's ballot
Andy Ouriel
Jul 21, 2014

 

ouriel@sanduskyregister.com

Sandusky city commissioners could take action toward increasing both the income and admissions tax rates on Tuesday.

The elected officials plan to vote on this packaged tax proposal after discussing the pros and cons during a 6 p.m. special meeting inside City Hall, 222 Meigs St.

Watch tonight's meeting HERE live

Community members can attend the meeting and voice their opinions about this course of action.

Details about the plan, including numbers and figures, weren’t publicly available on Monday.

A week ago, Sandusky ex officio mayor Dennis Murray Jr. outlined the city’s bleak financial future, underscored by about a $500,000 shortfall in a $16 million everyday operating budget come March 2015. A proposed increase in expenses, mainly from union-approved raises and skyrocketing health insurance rates, created the projected shortfall.

Cuts are nothing new to Sandusky’s government. The constantly cash-strapped budget over the years has already resulted in deep staffing cuts, neglect toward road repairs and, more recently, frequent fire station closures.

Raising taxes, then, signifies a last resort for city officials to preserve and enhance local public services, such as police and fire operations, tree maintenance and road reconstruction.

“If we don’t make changes now, and restore our safety forces and invest in our infrastructure, then I don’t see how Sandusky pulls out of this dive,” Murray said Monday. “We are at ‘decision time’ in terms of what we are going to be able to do for our community.”

The proposed plan likely came together after negotiations and compromises between members of three key groups:

• Sandusky administrators and some city commissioners.

• Representatives from Cedar Fair, Cedar Point’s parent company.

• Representatives from Rebuild Sandusky, a grassroots organization previously campaigning to raise the admissions tax rate from 3 percent to 6 percent.

After all discussion takes place during Tuesday's meeting, commissioners are expected to vote on the proposal.

If a majority of commissioners on the seven-member panel vote to approve this measure, it will get placed on November’s ballot.

Furthermore, if a majority of registered city voters cast a “yes” vote in November, the tax rates would increase to an as-yet unspecified amount, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

A collective “no” vote from either commissioners on Tuesday or residents during November's election would effectively squash this proposal.

 

Possible tax collections

Based on 2013 tax numbers, here’s how much different Sandusky's total tax collection would look like: 

Admissions tax (currently 3 percent)

• 3 percent: $2.81 million*

• 4 percent: $3.74 million

• 5 percent: $4.68 million

• 6 percent: $5.62 million

• 7 percent: $6.55 million

• 8 percent: $7.49 million

Note: All figures rounded. The admissions tax is a 3 percent fee tacked onto ticket sales at Sandusky-based entertainment venues. It largely depends upon attendance at Cedar Point — the undisputed giant in the region’s entertainment industry.

Income tax (currently 1 percent)

• 1 percent: $6.7 million*

• 1.25 percent: $8.4 million

• 1.5 percent: $10.1 million

• 1.75 percent: $11.7 million

• 2 percent: $13.4 million

Note: All figures rounded. The income tax is a 1 percent fee taken out of paychecks for anyone that works within Sandusky city limits. The tax also impacts city residents working in other areas outside of Sandusky. The tax only applies to earned income, not, for instance, Social Security, dividends or other similar tax-exempt payments. This is the portion of income tax funding everyday operations.

* Represents current rate

Source: Sandusky finance department

 

At a glance: Possible tax increases

• Sandusky city commissioners are scheduled to vote Tuesday whether to raise the 1 percent income and 3 percent admissions tax rates.

• If a majority of commissioners on the seven-member board vote “yes” on Tuesday, the issue will get placed on November’s ballot.

• If a majority of registered city voters cast a “yes” vote in November, the tax rates would increase to an unspecified amount, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

• Details about the plan, including numbers and figures, weren’t publicly available on Monday.

 

 

Comments

From the Grave

Cool!

Tribester

Great idea! Let's raise taxes on those least able to afford them, the hard working citizens of Sandusky who are barely getting by as it is. Admissions tax largely is paid for by TOURISTS who don't live here, but income tax is paid by US! Vote YES on admissions tax hike and NO on income tax hike!

sugar

VOTE NO, VOTE NO. No more of my hard earns dollar for your mismanagement. ENOUGH.

OMGreally

agree with Tribester...admissions and bed taxes would be a good way to go

Perkins Resident

Be ready for what businesses that are left in Sandusky to relocate to Perkins Township.

deertracker

Perkins is broke too. Look at the roads!

Perkins Resident

Typical Liberal. Regardless of the state of Perkins, Sandusky will lose numerous businesses if the income tax is raised. I know two off hand that will pack up and move into the Township. No reason to keep it there when none of your employees live in the city. No reason to pay city taxes if you don't have to. Go ahead and raise it and watch the mass exodus. Reminds me of the county raising the sales tax and when collections are down they blame the weather. We have morons running all levels of government.

doppleganger

What are the two businesses? Not to be a smart arse or anything, I just want to check if it is my employer. I would be the last to know.

brett kinzel

Sandusky is a city of 25,000 people located on the largest protected harbor on the great lakes. It has a billion dollar business within it's borders, and it's broke. How can that be? Perhaps we could cut back on the golf course, or the greenhouse, why have a law director? The fact of the matter is that over the last 20 years, the city government has looted this city. Now they want more. Shame on them.

Whiskey Tango F...

You can't honestly expect these people to be held accountable for their actions! Why just the other day I came up short on my own personal bills... I thought about using savings, borrowing against my equity, or using a charge card. Then I realized it was just easier to put a levy of my own on the books and make my neighbors and friends pay for my poor budgeting and over-spending! Look out November! Oh, I almost forgot, if you pass my levy you can expect to see it every voting day for the rest of your lives!!!

sugar

Looted is a perfect word, we are looted at city , county, state, federal, FICA, Medicare, fines, fees, licenses, tolls, taxes. Our government has destroyed the economy with greed and still expect us to hand over more.

Licorice Schtick

It's true that ordinary people are nickel-and-dimed to death with taxes. But why does the government WE vote for institute policies that benefit the wealthiest Americans at the expense of the Workers? It's because the system is inherently corrupt, and politicians need payoffs from Big Money to get elected. Blame a corrupt system and foolish voters.

Babo

It makes sense to sell the golf course and privatize it. It would generate property taxes and other taxes instead of having residents. subsidize a small portion of the population's recreation. Similarly, a hard examination of the law director and his budget is long overdue as that office is more responsible then any other for the millions in losses through loans, housing grants, unpaid water bills, excessive legal contracts and unnecessary litigation costs over the past decade.

However, I disagree with cutting back the Greenhouse as it is part of what makes Sandusky unique. If anything it should be expanded to include tree maintenance and street scaping. That program helps beautify a community and that benefits the residents and enhances tourism.

Licorice Schtick

Does the golf course not also make Sandusky unique? Selling the golf course would be a drop in the bucket. Like the greenhouse, it's worth more to Sandusky that it costs.

Babo

If it remains a golf course, how does the city lose anything? But it will gain property taxes and encourages private business growth instead of government payroll bloat.

Moreover, the city can't afford recreation for children such as a pool but it can subsidize adult recreation for the likes of Joe Yost when he gets out?

YoMamma

The golf course looses $25,000/year.

Licorice Schtick

Public parks and recreation facilities rarely make money. What do you think the City spends on Washington Park?

Nemesis

"It makes sense to sell the golf course and privatize it. It would generate property taxes and other taxes instead of having residents. subsidize a small portion of the population's recreation.....However, I disagree with cutting back the Greenhouse as it is part of what makes Sandusky unique. If anything it should be expanded to include tree maintenance and street scaping. "

Translation: Babo doesn't play golf, but Babo likes pretty plants and trees, and Babo's judgement of what constitutes appropriate government spending is a function of whose ox is being gored.

Babo

LOL, you're wrong. I do play golf..badly.

Gottathink

Babo is also correct in another way ...most people, when vacationing, desire a location that is opposite then where they live. So those that live and work in the "concrete jungle" appreciate it when they can vacation somewhere like Ohio, specifically Cedar Point area.
Not only do they have fun at the one of the greatest amusements parks in the US they also get an opportunity to relax in the "slowed down" "greener" areas of Ohio. Ohio is beautiful, she has so much to offer.

You all need to be proudly displaying that

Nemesis

"Sandusky is a city of 25,000 people located on the largest protected harbor on the great lakes. It has a billion dollar business within it's borders, and it's broke. How can that be?"

Short version: too many grasshoppers, not enough ants.

Babo

Correction: Too many second and third generation grasshoppers with a sense of entitlement to loot the City for their or their clients' pet projects such as ferry boats; housing grants, building rehabilitation housing developments, etc

doppleganger

I would consider voting yes for a small income tax increase ONLY if the admissions tax went up to at least 6%. No less.

WeThePeople1965

I'm waiting for Cedar Point to secede from the city and become Cedar Point, Ohio. I'm surprised imminent domain hasn't kicked in for that side of town. Self-destruction on the citys' part.

Licorice Schtick

Your comment is not clear. Please explain further.

WeThePeople1965

What I'm saying is Cedar Point should be tired of the city by now. Most tourists call Cedar Point 'Cedar Point, Ohio' anyway. And about the imminent domain, instead of Cedar Point looking like a island in the middle of ghettoville, they might consider buying the broke down land on Cleveland road and whatever that one street is called that leads up to Cedar Point road. Lets be honest, that general area with the exception of the lakefront properties looks nothing like a vacation spot.

Licorice Schtick

Good points. Perhaps the new CP management will find new ways,to collaborate with local jurisdictions. This area is invested in tourism and EVERYONE has an interest in considering the total experience for visitors. This is and inherently beautiful place, with a lot of ugliness for no good reason.

The creation of the Erie MetroParks' beautiful East Sandusky Bay, which CP supported, definitely enhances the visitors' experience.

CP cannot "secede" from Sandusky, of course, but they could move some employees and operations to other jurisdictions.

local man

I encourage the Sandusky Register to find out the admission tax that Cedar Fair is subject to for Kings Island (Cincinatti), Carowinds (Charlotte, NC) Kings Dominion (Richmond Va) and Knotts Berry Farm (Los Angeles, CA). Any future admissions taxes should reflect what they are accustomed to paying in other communities. Michigan, Kansas City, Pennsylvania, Toronto Ca also has parks but I dont have the time to research names and list them.

wjs

Many Sandusky residents aren’t interested in what other cities do. If they did, they would see how behind-the-times they are with their income tax rate. There is a persistent delusion that 1% is appropriate and realistic, while every other city its size has raised taxes to account for the drop in revenue once provided by the state.

Kings Island
No Admissions Tax
1.12% Income Tax

Other than Cedar Point, the only Cedar Fair park that pays admission tax to the local municipality is Dorney Park, which I believe is 5%.

Thomas Paine

Again with facts...please stop :)

thinktwice

blow ballz

LivinOnTheLake

Cedar Point will fight this admission tax hike proposal like they did after city commission passed the parking tax years ago...they just got "friendlies" to run for commission, CP financially supported their campaigns, and lo and behold, the new commission repealed the parking tax. I can see the same thing happening again.

SamAdams

What a crock of crap it is when we suggest the City Commissioners "represent" us! The vast majority of us have REPEATEDLY objected to any income tax increase and for the reasons (among others) stated here. And what does the Commission do? Keep working toward AN INCOME TAX INCREASE.

The business I work for has threatened to relocate outside the boundaries of the City if that happens. If I could afford to move, I'd be looking, too. I don't CARE if the City is short of funding. The way to get more funding ISN'T to force hard-working residents -- many of whom are living check to check right now -- to sacrifice more money they just don't have.

SHAME on each and every Commissioner who pretends to give a dam* about either the City or those of us who live in it!

Perkins Resident

I can name two other businesses I know will move if the income tax goes up.

wjs

Apparently these cities are full of millionaires who can afford exorbitant tax rates. The Sandusky is the only city with poverty and economic turmoil.

North Royalton (2.00%)
Bowling Green (2.00%)
North Ridgeville (1.00%)
Kent (2.50%)
Garfield Heights (2.00%)
Shaker Heights (2.25%)
Hilliard (2.00%)
Medina (1.25%)
Barberton (2.25%)
Wooster (1.50%)
Sandusky (1.00%)
Xenia (2.25%)
Green (2.00%)
Zanesville (1.90%)
Riverside (1.50%)
Troy (1.75%)
Trotwood (2.25%)
Centerville (1.75%)
Athens (1.65%)
Solon (2.00%)
Maple Heights (2.50%)

2cents's picture
2cents

"Solon (2.00%)"

And?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

: )

Licorice Schtick

Geauga Lake did not close due to income tax.

Nemesis

No, but it did close because a hostile local community imposed policies that reduced their return on investment.

Babo

It closed because the new owner CF did not want one park competing with its flagship park in Sandusky.

T. A. Schwanger

###

@ wjs

What you are forgetting is the communities you mention regarding higher income tax rates don't have the luxury of a $2.7 million Amusement Admissions tax. Sandusky should be one of the richest communities on the North Coast if not for the "money grows on trees" spending of tax dollars.

wjs

Then set the income tax rate at the appropriate level to run the city and let a 3% admissions tax be bonus money for a rainy day fund or special projects.

sugar

Most of us in this city have had NO raises on years, yet we must give the city one? NO.

knowitall

Interesting T.A......What issues are you talking about when you say spending is like "money grows on trees"? I am not arguing, just wondering what the details are. I like specifics, not general overview. I will be waiting with hopeful anticipation.

Nemesis

Well you can bet it doesn't include things like a derelict wave pool. Tim's comment is pure irony, because his concept of what constitutes unwise city spending is entirely based on whether said spending serves his pet cause.

Gottathink

Hi Sam. You know I respect you and your opinion.
I see it like this, take the .25% tax hike. If you don't compromise and accept this percentage, then you will other see taxes being accessed at probably a higher percentage. If you don't allow the modest rate increase Ohio is going to find a way to make you pay ....in the form of MTA taxes.

Ohio is beautiful. She has much to offer. I'll never forget the fall sunsets that I saw there ....ll, to be honest I would pay everyone's minimum increase to see them one more time

To the state of Ohio ...increase admission tax a bit more. You have no idea how much people will pay to visit your lovely state

Sanduskyloveito...

I am not adverse to a raise in our income tax. If you want services, you have to pay taxes! We all know prices have risen for us, the taxpayers, but so have all the prices for what the city needs...you have to accept higher taxes people if you want done what needs to be done! Cedar Point should not have to shoulder the whole bill.

jmgthatsme

Hey city...pay your bills like everyone else does their home bills...Money comming in has to be equal to or greater than Money going out, if it isn't, make cuts. I am a business man in Sandusky and this will be the final nail that moves me to Perkins.

Licorice Schtick

That would be irrational, emotional decision, unless you really think the cost of moving is worth it (and it may well be, but probably not based on the tax alone.) Be assured that by now, Perkins would have an income tax too, if they were permitted to (and that day will probably come.)

twosenseworth

I'm thinking that Cedar Fair's leaders have already decided for Sandusky's leaders what they'll be voting to place on the November ballot, no matter what anyone has to say about it at the meeting. We've gone from a "hands-off" town hall approach by Mr. Murray to a "hurry-up, let's-get-this-thing-done" scenario. Sorry, not interested! Oh, by the way, look for Sandusky Schools to come along very soon to announce their own tax increase for all property owners, too. Again, not interested!

The Answer Person

Income tax raise NOW!

YoMamma

The city wants 1.2 million from the residents and only 800,000 from the tourists. The admissions tax was implemented in 1972 and has been 3% since then. Cedar Point does not show the admissions tax as a line item on tickets/passes. Therefore they will say it is a loss of income. That would be like any business showing sales tax as a loss of income!

Darkhorse

Cedar Point has been living on borrowed time with the admission tax for some time now. They had to have known the day would come to revise the tax. The tax is way too low compared to other areas. The deal the commissioners are going to offer up is a low ball figure. Sandusky will go through the extra revenue in a short time.

wjs

Actually, that is not true. Very few amusement parks are subject to admissions tax. The only other Cedar Fair park subject to admissions tax is Dorney Park. In most states, amusement park sales are subject to sales tax. That would go to the state and the county, so if you're interested in "doing it like everyone else," I'm sure the Erie County Commissioners would love to support you.

Babo

The State of Ohio made it a policy to exempt recreational activities such as sports events, theatres and amusement parks from sales tax, recognizing that these types of activities place a disproportionate burden on municipalities that have to service and provide the infrastructure for the large influx of patrons. Thus cities are allowed to enact an Admissions Tax up to 8% under Ohio law that goes exclusively to the city in lieu of the collection of sales taxes that are shared with the state, and county.

Other cities such as Cleveland charge an 8% admissions tax on large corporate entities such as the Browns and Indians and are thinking of a lower rate for small music clubs. Sandusky would be wise to move to 6% as it is fair to charge the patrons of Cedar Point (that's who actually pays the tax) for the near doubling of the population every day during the season.

Cedar Fair is a big corporation just like the Browns and the Indians. Time for them to step up and make their customers pay their fair share as the Browns and Indians do and stop bullying a small city's residents many of them elderly and on fixed incomes because it is so easy for them to control a small city's political structure.

sugar

I don't care if they do or do not go after CP, but the explanation given by Babo above puts it in a whole new perspective for me. No doubt the reckless, feckless Sandusky City Commision will screw up that windfall, unless we the citizens become more involved with who is elected.

Nemesis

"The State of Ohio made it a policy to exempt recreational activities such as sports events, theatres and amusement parks from sales tax, recognizing that these types of activities place a disproportionate burden on municipalities "

No, the state decided to exempt almost ALL service transactions for non-tangibles, of which admissions happen to be one.

Ralph J.

Does Cedar Point collect sales taxes on food consumed on the premises? Where did the "ALL" come from because some services are taxable.
http://www.tax.ohio.gov/portals/...
What is and what isn't taxable (sales tax)
http://www.tax.ohio.gov/faq.aspx
http://www.ohio.com/news/local/o...

reader1

Local man I agree. I would like to see a comparison chart of the sdmission tax elsewhere. It's not easy to research. I tried. During my search, I did discover that Orlando, FL, has a Holy Land Park.

wjs

Very few amusement parks are subject to a city-levied admissions tax. Most states do not authorize admissions tax. Many are instead subject to sales tax. Disney World, for example, collects sales tax on tickets sold, with the money going to the county and state.

doppleganger

This is Ohio only - by county.

http://www.tax.ohio.gov/Portals/...

doppleganger

Connecticut:ADMISSION TAX COVERAGE

The state imposes a 10% tax (6% for movies) on admission charges to places of amusement, entertainment, or recreation. The tax applies to amounts paid for tickets; licenses; skybox, luxury suite, or club seat rentals; and any other admission charges, including any charges for the right to buy seats. The tax covers theaters; lecture and concert halls; amusement parks and fairgrounds; dance halls; sporting facilities, such ball parks, race tracks, tennis courts, golf and miniature golf courses, skating rinks, beaches, swimming pools, and gyms; stadiums and amphitheaters; convention centers; auto, boat, camping, home, dog, and antique shows; and other similar venues and events (CGS Secs. 12-540 and 541)
http://www.cga.ct.gov/2001/rpt/2...

Nemesis

Yes, by all means, let's turn Ohio into a socialist nightmare like Connecticut.

Babo

You mean the wealthiest state in the country is a socialist nightmare? I'm shocked!

Nor'easter

Believe it or not, the tax rates at the various resorts varies across Walt Disney World. In all cases, the state sales tax is 6% and the state resort tax is 5%. However, in Osceola County (the Southern part of WDW), there's an additional 1% county sales tax. What that boils down to is this:

The All Star Resorts have a resort tax of 5%, and a combined sales tax of 7%. Your room, then, will be taxed at 12% and purchases (sundries and souvenirs) will be taxed at 7%.
Purchases at the Wide World of Sports would also be hit with the 7% sales tax.
All other WDW resorts and retail locations have a resort tax of 5% and a sales tax of 6%. Your room, then, at any other WDW resort, will be taxed at 11% and purchases at 6%.
If you stay offsite, just keep in mind that you'll be hit with that slightly higher rate if you stay in Osceola County (along SR-192, Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway).

http://www.mouseplanet.com/dtp/w...

Nor'easter

Let's keep a bargain and allow CP to pay the same rate as the residents do when they buy things. 7.5%

wjs

And give it all to the state and county, just like that 7.5% sales tax. Then Sandusky goes from 3% to zero. Oh, you mean just the rate ... since picking and choosing is part of like in fantasyland.

Babo

But why should CF not pay an equivalent rate in admissions tax on admissions that most business pay on sales when ticket sales are exempt from sales tax. Why does this business' customers' get break on sales tax and pay only 3% admissions. Shouldn't they pay the same as other customers, i.e. 7.5% admissions tax in place of the sales tax?

wjs

Because that's the law in Ohio. Admissions are not subject to sales tax. If you're going to automatically make it the same rate, what's the point of having a separate admissions tax? Why should the tax on goods sold go to the state/county, but the tax on amusement park tickets go to the city? If you're going to say that customers should pay the same tax rate, then why should the revenue not go to the same place?

Babo

You misapprehend my point. Why wouldn't any taxing authority if given the opportunity to tax customers of a business that places an enormous burden on the city's resources at the expense of its residents not seize the opportunity to tax at the same rate as the sales tax that the business' customers are not paying but expect to pay?

I always thought tickets were subject to sales tax and expect to pay 7.25% as a customer when I see an advertised price. Now I know that I pay 8% when I go to a Browns game but only 3% when I go to CP. Seems Sandusky leadership is pretty dumb not to tax visitors as much as possible when they expect to pay it anyway and relieve the burden on its residents and businesses or improve the appearance of the city to attract new residents and businesses.

wjs

Cedar Point customers do not place an enormous burden on the city's resources. That's a myth. The admissions tax collected now is TWICE the entire public works/road budget. Cedar Point also has it's own police department.

Babo

We disagree on the burden as you omit long term infrastructure improvements that have to be maintained such as the causeway, water and sewer as well as the affects of traffic on the all the city's streets and how that diminishes quality of life and property values. Moreover, the city's street budget has been steered to the areas around CP and residents are neglected.

In any event you avoided the issue: Why do customers of Cedar Point get to pay reduced taxes of 3% as opposed to customers of other businesses who have to pay 7.5%?

Are you an investor in CF? How about an income tax that extends to all dividends from the company since the company is headquartered in Sandusky?

wjs

I didn't avoid the issue. Like I said above, that 7.5% goes to the state and the county. They are two different types of taxes. You can't make that comparison, saying it's the same thing, then when it's time to pay the county and state, say it's not the same thing.

Babo

LOL, you avoided the issue and answering the question of whether you have any bias as an investor in CF.

Again, if you are such a big supporter of an income tax you should have no objection to extending that income tax to ALL income in Sandusky including the issuance of dividends from CF to unit holders.

wjs

I didn't avoid the issue. Like I said above, that 7.5% goes to the state and the county. They are two different types of taxes. You can't make that comparison, saying it's the same thing, then when it's time to pay the county and state, say it's not the same thing.

Nemesis

The causeway is PRIVATE PROPERTY maintained by CP. Please note this is pointed out on the speed limit signs on said causeway, along with a citation of the ordinance authorizing Sandusky to write speeding tickets (and collect fines for same) on this privately maintained road.

Water and sewer are fee based services, and heavier use begets higher fees. Please note that Ohio Edison and Columbia Gas don't whine about the cost of long term infrastructure improvements necessary to avail themselves of the OPPORTUNITY to sell CP power and gas.

90% of CP traffic travels less than 5% of the roads within the city limits, whereas the admissions tax and CP payroll tax account for more than 25% of the city budget.

Scumbag thug RESIDENTS raping, robbing, assaulting and shooting do one thousand times more to diminish property values and quality of life in one month than CP visitors do in one year.

The state determined to limit sales tax to sales of tangible goods, and 3% MORE than covers the incremental burden on the city. It's time residents paid for the services THEY consume and the messes THEY create.

Would you like the city and state in which any company in which you invest to tax your dividends? Oh wait, as a marxist, you don't believe in investment income.

Sandusky's problem is too small a percentage of its able-bodied, working age residents actually working and paying taxes, NOT the tourists who make the local economy run. The problem is that the dependent class consume as many municipal services as productive taxpayers (actually, typically more than.)

Babo

Why the distinction in income between what is earned through labor versus what is earned through an LLC wherein the earnings flow through to the members or unit holders? Members of a professional practice are taxed on the proceeds or profits of the LLC as income, as should members of CF. Dividends of a Corporation are not subject to income tax but subject to a lower rate as unearned income because the corporation pays income tax on its profits prior to paying its dividends. But with an LLC there is no "corporate" income tax prior to payment of profits to its members.

Also, if the Causeway and Parking lot are private property, installed, and maintained by CF then they need to do a better job of taking care of their infrastructure such as the water lines that run under their private property

sugar

Mismanagement and crony capitalism rule the day in Sandusky.
Who said if you want services you have to pay for them? What services does the average citizen receive that they don't pay extra for already?

streakfan 10

Even paying taxes you still get a big bill to take a two minute ride in an ambulance. It was 418 dollars for me. All told it cost me 52 dollars a minute and the city says it has no money for fire service. BULL

Retiredfirefighter

streakfan 10 what you fail to realize is that money does not go to the city. It goes to a fund in the fire department to maintain and upgrade fire and ems equipment. The former fire chief paul ricci wanted to use some of that money to try and save jobs on the fire department but our so called leaders said no to that idea.

cloakes

I think Sandusky needs to get their crap together. Tourists should not have to keep bailing Sandusky out. Sandusky residents need to make your elected officials accountable for running YOUR city into the ground. Maybe they need to consider filing for bankruptcy like Detroit. Everyone else pays taxes so if they need to raise income taxes do it and maybe raise admission tax 1%. The residents of Sandusky voted these idiots in you can vote their butts back out. Wake up quit taxing your visitors tell your elected officials to get the spending under control or vote them out.

sugar

That's because a good portion of Sandusky pay little to no taxes, they live in section 8 homes, get PIPP, HEAP, WIC, SNAP, than they file Fed taxes and get EIC. Than you have the people who work for government. What about us in the middle? The people who actually create wealth in this country? Taxed to death.

YoMamma

Like!

CommonsenseNow

It's always the middle class who gets squeezed out of existence when a country goes socialist. Everyone wants to focus on the mysterious "rich" who have a league of lawyers and accountants to keep their money in trusts and going through tax loopholes. Hardly anyone talks about the looters at the bottom who suck off the taxpayer and make all the noise; my neighbor gets free housing, free food, free healthcare ... and just had DIRECT TV installed a few days before I had mine removed to cut down on costs. When those who don't work live as well as those who do work, what the heck is the incentive to work?!? The middle class gets it from both ends, and what is happening in America today - make no mistake - is a DIRECT attack on the middle class.

Finn Finn

You hit it right on the head.

Gottathink

CommonsenseNow ...great post. It's so the truth

Julie R.

The city of Huron just sent out notices that effective October 1, 2014 all customers will be paying $50 more a quarter (which will be added on to the water bills) for up to 60 gallons of refuse, unlimited curbside recycling and yard waste.

So is this fair to the people in a family of 1 or 2 ~ like maybe senior citizens ~ that probably only signed up for one bag of garbage a week who do not need unlimited curbside recycling and yard waste in comparison to a family of 5 or 6 or more?

I knew this was coming. Everybody in Erie County is now going to pay for that stinking slumlord that the city of Sandusky allowed to get away without paying a water bill for 5 years ---- the one that got a slap on the wrist and gets to walk out of it with a nice padded retirement account.

Somebody said the city government has looted the city of Sandusky for the last 20 years. That's true, but the county government has looted the people even more.

Stop It

I don't understand the part about the taxpayer paying for recycling. They make money on that both ways?

2cents's picture
2cents

When I lived in Huron in the 9's we paid for recycling, yard waste as well as trash pick up. Two times after the Christmas holiday I watched the garbage truck throw everything including Xmas trees into the same truck, so much for recycling : )

gene44870

We as residents of Sandusky would have to be real fools to pay higher taxes for the city when city goverment has no intention of fixing roads that do not lead to Cedar Points . And are claiming to openg back up the fire station on Venice rd
If the city would have invested more on streets that were by far more in need of repair .then I would think about it

Three things the city needs to stop

1 STOP FOCUSING ALL THE CITY TAZ DOLLARS TOWARD A PARK THAT IS ONLY OPRN A FEW MONYHS OUT OF THE YEAR .
2 WORK ON TRING TO GET THE MANUFACTURING BACK IN SANDUSKY THIS EILL GIVE A YEAR ROUND TAX BASE RATHER THEN A SEASONAL TAX BASE.
We have been tring the vacationland plan for to long and yhis is what it has got us . Wake up Sandusky Goverment
3 Get the police as well as fire protection that the city needs

Nemesis

"1.STOP FOCUSING ALL THE CITY TAZ DOLLARS TOWARD A PARK THAT IS ONLY OPRN A FEW MONYHS OUT OF THE YEAR ."

How much of the city's budget do you think is focused on CP? Guaranteed it's less than the 25% of revenues that come directly FROM CP.

"2 WORK ON TRING TO GET THE MANUFACTURING BACK IN SANDUSKY THIS EILL GIVE A YEAR ROUND TAX BASE RATHER THEN A SEASONAL TAX BASE."

That will not help. Even if you created 10,000 jobs within the city limits, 90% of those workers would commute in from outside Sandusky, because, while they might be willing to drive through slums to get to work, they are not willing to house their family even in close proximity to slums.

downthemiddle

A good bit of Sandusky's city budget has to go to chasing down all the drug criminals that comprise the Register's articles.

Seems like more every day...

The budget used to work percentagewise before the low lifes took over.

Gardenman

I think raising of the Cedar Point admissions tax is good. For sure Cedar Point is not going to pick up stakes and move elsewhere. But Cedar Point is not the be all, end all to Sandusky's financial woes. Infact, Cedar Point has been a pretty good neighbor and supporter of Sandusky.

I think that much of the income tax increase is going to be paid by workers who live outside the Sandusky City limits. You look at the largest full time employer, Firelands Hospital, and the majority of those who work there do not live in Sandusky.

Majority of those who live in Sandusky I seriously doubt can pull the city out of their financial woes. Most live on welfare and only survive by it along with Medicad and a host of other government assistance. You drive thru Sandusky and its just rental after rental and the vast majority of the foreclosures in Erie County are in the city of Sandusky.

I just hope if Sandusky does get these additional tax dollars they are good stewards of the money and not pull some of the dumb / stupid mistakes that previous city commissions have made. Maybe not so much the current commission but previous ones have spent the taxpayers dollars like drunken sailors.

Nor'easter

Stop by Sail Inn and sign the petition to put the Admissions tax on the ballot. Let the citizens decide.

JERRY from SANDUSKY

looks like they want to raise taxes so that they can raise enough money for upper management to get their raises.

We need more money to give our freebie people more benefits.

And finally pay the bills we have do.

knowitall

Sounds like you have all the answers. It would be nice if it were that easy. So, Jerry, run for office and help fix it.

CommonsenseNow

Ohio code says that if a municipality charges more than 1% in income tax, they have to get the voters to agree. Cleveland did it in the 1980's (?) and the voters are stuck with 2% today. To those who would quote other city's income tax such as Rocky River, Solon, and other RICH and LOW UNEMPLOYMENT communities - different situations ... why not also include the unemployment rate and median income for all the cities you point to to justify ripping off the POOR RESIDENTS of Sandusky? Bad government does two things: increase in size and increase taxes. And to all of those ripping on Cedar Point, what the hell would this city look like if it were not for CP? You think it's so easy to make money, try starting a company and making payroll. Either way, all the RENTERS on welfare in this city I'm sure will be voting yes to any and all tax increases.

wjs

If you're going to cherry pick from that list, why not Garfield Heights? Or Wooster?

Do you think Elyria (1.75%) and Lorain (2.5%) are rich communities with low unemployment? How about Norwalk (1.5%)? Tiffin (1.75%)? Fremont (1.5%)? Mansfield (2%)?

With state funding down, residents need to wise up like all these other "rich" communities have and figure out 1% is no longer realistic.

CommonsenseNow

If these voters want to pay more taxes that is their choice. If you want to vote to raise your taxes - if you pay any - that is your choice. I will vote NO to raise my taxes. And what inside knowledge do you have of the city's budget? Surely, you've studied it to advocate that every hard-working Sanduskian have less so the city can have more. Where should we CUT COSTS? Any ideas there? If you're going to "cherry-pick" ideas ... such as we need to force every Sanduskian to pay more ... then you have a solution(s) on the other side ... here's where we can CUT COSTS.

wjs

I won't apologize for doing my homework and researching the topic. Not many people seem willing to do that, resorting instead to emotional decisions.

I think it's apparent to anyone who would take the time to look that the city does not have a spending problem. Emotional and anecdotal evidence is not proof otherwise.

Perkins Resident

Do you have a job that you pay city income tax? You sure spend an awful lot of time on here making the case to take others hard earned money. I bet you voted for Obama too... Twice.

Darkhorse

Sandusky has to raise the income tax to make up for the lost jobs in the Sandusky area.

T. A. Schwanger

###

What WJS is forgetting is the communities he/she mention regarding higher income tax rates don't have the luxury of a $2.7 million Amusement Admissions tax. Sandusky should be one of the richest communities on the North Coast if not for the "money grows on trees" spending of tax dollars.

wjs

That's right - a luxury. If raised to 6%, it would make up over 40% of the city's general revenue. It's no longer a luxury. Seems someone would have to be awfully shortsighted to not be uncomfortable with that amount of revenue coming from one single source.

knowitall

I agree wjs.

Nemesis

Especially when you're simultaneously reducing that source's return on investment in your community.

VTX Rider

So, why not a sales tax increase? I am no expert in economics but this would impact everyone that purchases any taxable item in the city. If you don't have a taxable income then you're not effected and therefor shouldn't be permitted to vote and income tax increase. The same for real estate tax levies, if you don't own you don't have a vote. Ok, call me crazy :)

Dr. Information

Just like our government. Sandusky has a spending problem, not a tax collecting problem.

my oh my

Its easy to avoid income tax just get a PO box outside city....

The Big Dog's back

Whoa, whoa, whoa. I thought you right wingnuts were OK with raising local and state taxes vs Fed. Hypocrites.

sugar

Right wing nuts? Childish. You don't pay attention, you don't understand the Conservative platform. Smaller less intrusive government, what can be handled at the local level, do it there. Does not mean shift the burden to the taxpayers at local level.

The Big Dog's back

OK, I forgot this is Tuesday, different than the right wingnut blather they spread on Monday.

CommonsenseNow

Broad brushes don't paint much ... but they do let people know you have no clue how to paint.

local man

Do not feel sorry for Cedar Point. With all the ridiculous revenue they are generating through their fast pass they surely can contribute more money to the cause.

BigMoney

The city needs to raise local taxes to pay for all the lawyer fees they are going to have to pay due to their arrogance and ineptness. They make the mistakes and let the people of Sandusky pay for it.

Retiredfirefighter

The reason they are doing this kind of tax increase is that cedar fair knows it will be voted down by us the citizens of sandusky. Mr. Murray and Mr. Brady should not be involved in this discussion. They should raise the admission tax to 6% and be done with it. Even though with our so called leaders they will blow through that with out helping any of the services we the people of sandusky use or need.

AJ Oliver

Have to disagree with my friend Tim here. Wjs is correct; the city has been hammered by cuts from the state. City spending is DOWN, way down. It is NOT a spending problem. wjs is also correct that folks should do some homework.
And hey, wjs, your views would carry even more weight if you published under your own name. How about it?

meowmix

AJ Oliver-- although I don't have a dog in this fight I agree with you that Wjs makes a compelling case for both an increase in the income tax (paying only 1% is practically unheard of nowadays) along with raising the admissions tax to 6%. My gosh people, 1.5% tax on a $40,000 per year income is $600. I think that's a pretty cheap price for police, fire, snow removal, etc.

knowitall

Why not a stepped admissions tax up to 6% in six years. But, have plans to fix roads each year!!! I haven't seen new asphalt on city streets for years.

sugar

Worry about your own municipality. Butt out.

knowitall

Lol

knowitall

Right on AJ.

Nemesis

"And hey, wjs, your views would carry even more weight if you published under your own name. How about it?"

Since you're a former academic with, presumably, at least a passing familiarity with the principles of dialectic, I'd be interested in your idea of what constitutes a sound rational basis for that assertion with which you seem so perversely fixated.

SanduskyMomOf3

We just had a sales tax hike, Sandusky schools are putting a big bond levy on in November and now an income tax hike as well? No thank you. I work out of town and am already paying 2%. Guess I'll have to vote against both measures, just in case. Those of you who are so strongly supporting the tax hike can volunteer to have your taxes raised some more.

WhatTheHeck

Stop in at the Sail In to sign the petition!

Nemesis

Five comments touch on the real problem:

"good bit of Sandusky's city budget has to go to chasing down all the drug criminals that comprise the Register's articles."

Tourists are not what's costing the city money. The incremental cost of CP's guest influx is a drop in the bucket, and certainly less than current admissions tax/CP payroll tax revenue. The single biggest cost is police payroll, most of which effectively goes to keeping a growing percentage of the RESIDENT population from killing, maiming, raping, beating, and robbing each other. Let's be perfectly honest, if you moved every unwed teen baby momma, baby daddy, and the offspring of same who remain on significant public assistance, and every degenerate 20-something stoner in the city to someplace at least 100 miles away, Sandusky could probably cut police payroll in half.

"why not also include the unemployment rate and median income for all the cities you point to"

"That's because a good portion of Sandusky pay little to no taxes, they live in section 8 homes, get PIPP, HEAP, WIC, SNAP, than they file Fed taxes and get EIC."
Which highlights the second part of the problem - too small a percentage of the city's population works and pays taxes, and those people in the region who do work and pay taxes have no desire to live in Sandusky because they want to live as consistently as possible among other people who work and pay taxes.

"Either way, all the RENTERS on welfare in this city I'm sure will be voting yes to any and all tax increases."

"When those who don't work live as well as those who do work, what the heck is the incentive to work?!?"

Which gets us to the root cause - what has city government done to create a significant motivating differential in quality of life between residents who work and those on the dole? Quite the contrary, they bend over backwards to ELIMINATE any such differential. Leftists in city government have discovered the secret to maintaining their hold on power - governing for the favor of those who don't work or pay taxes, but who breed ever more members of the dependent class, whom groups like ACORN will insure are registered to repeatedly vote for said leftists in exchange for the promise to always stick someone else with the bill.

If you want to solve the problem, elect commissioners who will do everything in their power to discourage the use of government subsidies by residents of working age, and will do everything they can to promote eucivic behavior.
Meanwhile, Cedar Fair management sees the decision calculus of where to invest their capital improvement budget keep favoring Mason, OH, whose leadership fosters a population with the earning power to pay for its own services and not try to stick it to King's Island.

Groups like Rebuild Sandusky don't grasp these simple truths. Rant all you want about who actually pays the admissions tax. There's no economically literate way that an increase in the admissions tax isn't damaging to CP's return on investment.

Mr. 25 Cents

Wikipedia data for Mason, Ohio: "The median income for a household in the city was $89,569, and the median income for a family was $103,459[3] Males had a median income of $96,002 and females had a median income of $75,968. The per capita income for the city was $37,948. The median house price was $320,289." According to Nemesis, but for bad government, every city in Ohio could have a median household income of $90,000. If that were the case, where would the people who cook your french fries, cut your hair, clean your restrooms, pack your pork products, and clean your streets live? Would they commute from Mexico? Contrary to the teachings of Fox news, an economy cannot consist solely of hedge fund managers and television news personalities.

sugar

No those are entry level positions and for those who strive for no more, not everyone is motivated to excel

sugar

How did I miss this! This is prose! This is it!!! Thank you Nemesis!

Nemesis

"Other cities such as Cleveland charge an 8% admissions tax on large corporate entities such as the Browns and Indians "

Still harping on that apples to oranges comparison, Babo? CLEVELAND GAVE THE BROWNS AND INDIANS HALF A BILLION DOLLARS. I'm sure that CP would GLADLY support an 8% admissions tax in exchange for HALF A BILLION DOLLARS worth of new roller coasters. That would give them at least 50 more coasters than any park in the world.

sugar

Cleveland also has a corporate structure to support that, and an income tax that is higher and THRIVING BUSINESSES, unlike Sandusky. There is one big business here, it's FRMC and it built a stadium for one of the schools . You're full of it .

The Big Dog's back

Just goes to show right wingnuts don't want to pay for anything. They want everything FREE. Let someone else pay for it.

sugar

I see the Meigs Street morons are out in full force telling everyone what fools they are for not wanting to support their wage hikes.