City exploring ways to raise revenue

City manager to hold talks with Cedar Point as citizens push doubling of admissions tax
Tom Jackson
Jul 15, 2014

jackson@sanduskyregister.com

New Sandusky city manager Eric Wobser, who attended his first official city commission meeting Monday night, has begun discussions with Cedar Fair officials on how to raise city revenues without putting all of the burden on raising the admissions tax on Cedar Point tickets.

It's an approach that's being urged by Sandusky's ex-officio mayor, Dennis Murray Jr., who warns that a proposal to double the admissions tax from 3 percent to 6 percent might alienate Cedar Fair and cause the amusement park giant to consider moving its headquarters from Sandusky. 

Two women who spoke during the audience participation portion of the meeting said they still strongly favor doubling the admissions tax and alleged that the main alternative would be to raise everyone's income taxes.

Toward the end of Monday's meeting, Murray began the discussion on the contentious issue by saying that after chopping nearly a third of the city's workforce in the last 10 years and cutting spending by 25 percent, it's not possible to make further cuts and maintain city services at current levels.

"What next?" Murray asked. "Do we close Station 7? Do we brown out Station 3 as well with its dramatically higher call volume? Do we cut the police force? Do we sell off the parks because we can no longer maintain them? How will we address the 800-plus dead and dying trees in tree lawns?"

Murray said he's quit representing Cedar Fair in his law practice so he can address the revenue issue, adding that a push to hike the admissions tax from 3 percent to 6 percent means a solution must be found quickly. Doubling the tax is a bad idea, Murray argued.

"It is too much and places the entire burden of replacing lost revenue on our largest corporate citizen, at the risk of alienating them and even causing them to move their headquarters," he said. "They would not put it that way, but it is no secret, either. Nor will Cedar Fair say this, but it is also reasonable to expect that they will actively oppose a 3 percent increase."

Murray said Wobser has been approached by Cedar Fair representatives, who understand that Sandusky needs money but who want to arrive at a fair solution. At Murray's urging, the commission voted unanimously Monday night to authorize Wobser to continue those talks, so that the city can meet an August 6 deadline to put a proposal on the November ballot.

City commissioner Julie Farrar said she agrees with Murray.

"We cannot cut anymore," she said. 

Cedar Point spokesman Bryan Edwards said Monday afternoon that his company is opposed to a tax that will fall disproportionately on one company.

"We're a successful company that has its headquarters here. We want to keep our headquarters here," he said.

Sandusky resident Jennifer Brindley, speaking during audience participation, said she's working to put an issue on the ballot to double the admissions tax. 

"Residents are asking for that," she said. "They want their Fire Station No. 7 kept open. They want their roads fixed. They want hundreds of dead trees removed."

Brindley asked commissioners if the alternative to hiking the admission tax is to raise income taxes.

She was followed at the podium by Vicki Byrd, another city resident, who said she also favors hiking the admissions tax.

"Evidently, I'm standing up against a corporation," she said. "Cedar Point does not pay that admissions tax. I pay it. We pay it."

"I will not vote to raise my income tax," Byrd said.

Wobser did not jump into the debate but said earlier that he's excited to come home and serve the city.

"It's just an incredible honor to be here," he said.

Comments

The Bizness

I am not sure how Cedar Point could argue that a raise would hurt their company. I have a feeling CP's attendance will still rise next year as it almost always does.

reader

And if raised to 6 percent, the admission tax would still be lower than many other locations across the country.

Dr. Information

What you are also forgetting is Cedar Point isn't opened as long as these other parks. Some parks do not close down south.

JT Adams St

First, Cedar Point doesn't pay admissions taxes. It never has it never will. When you buy a car, who pays the sales tax? You do. The dealer simply collects it. It's the same thing with the admissions tax, Cedar Point simply collects it, it's Sandusky residents and other Cedar Point customers who pay the tax. How would you feel if the Chevy dealer whined to you about having to pay sales tax on the new car you just purchased? You should feel exactly the same way about Cedar Point whining about having to pay admissions taxes.

Second, Cedar Point collects a disproportionate amount of the admissions taxes because it is the only billion-dollar operation in Sandusky. Obviously, the admissions tax burden would fall less heavily on Cedar Point customers if Disney World were also located here. If LeBron moved to Sandusky, he would pay a disproportionate amount of municipal income taxes. Why? Because he makes as much money as 1,000 Sandusky residents. Would it be unfair for him to pay a disproportionate amount of income taxes? No.

Third, even if the admissions tax were increased to 6%, that would still be LESS than the sales tax. That's right, for all of the whining about the admissions tax, it is less than half the amount of the current sales tax. How is that fair?

Fourth, losing the puny amount of income taxes paid by Cedar Point's corporate employees would be a drop in the bucket compared to the $2.5 million a 3% increase in the admissions tax would generate.

DEATHnTAXES

LIKE

DEATHnTAXES

repeat post

Darkhorse

I am afraid that Mr. Murray has met his match with the two ladies. The city manager has no idea what he has gotten himself into. I just hope he doesn't get in over his head because the commissioners will throw him under the bus when things start to go bad. History has a way of repeating itself especially when there is development on the drawing board. Any company will pass any additional expense onto the customer just like ticket prices and parking costs.

The Bizness

Exactly, raise the admissions tax and CP will raise their ticket prices even more than they should and claim it is because of the admissions tax...

I am a CP season ticket holder, and love the park, so I am the one paying this tax, but I am all for it.

JT Adams St

As for Cedar Point wanting to keep its headquarters here, what's stopping them? Their insistence that they behave like a petulant child if they don't get their way on the admissions tax issue? Once the admissions tax is increased, Cedar Point moving their corporate offices isn't going to get the admissions tax rolled back. Nor is it going to save them any money. It's simply going to be an expense that Cedar Point is willing to incur to express its displeasure, like a dog that chews up a slipper when you leave it at home alone. Obviously, if Cedar Point has money to waste moving its corporate offices just to prove that its angry, it has money to burn. I wish that I could afford to pack up and move every time the city commission annoyed me.

Truth or Dare

Hey Darkhorse; True to form, C.P. increases their prices every year. Their stats for 2013, which was a record breaker for revenue and attendance if I'm not mistaken, brought into this city 17.3 thousand people per day over a 6 month period. C.P. is also the #1 visited amusement park within this nation.

Talk about being blind sided, which was pointed out it should of been expected. Anyone else but me see on the horizon and in less then a week an executive session of the city, making the decision to put a 1% raise in admission tax on the ballot before the Aug. 6th. deadline? I am hoping there will be two, theirs of which all city taxpayers get to pay for, and Rebuild Sandusky's for 6%, of which is being paid for through private donations of those that are like minded. A right by the way to follow through in an exercise of our democratic process! Let the voters choose! Hint; Would you rather pay something you can control as to when you pay it, or would you rather have it taken from you every pay period, knowing darn good and well you have no control over how it is managed?

It truly behooves me that C.P. would be able stop in any way something the people took the initiative to work for and through the votes of the people, passed!

I also believe we will see an Income Tax levy as well, for an additional 1.5%. How many working for the city live outside of it and won't have a vote regarding this increase? How many are working for C.P. that live outside of the city and won't have a vote? How many folks working in the city for our other large businesses, as if C.P. and F.R.M.C. are the only two businesses, won't have a vote in their taxes being raised? That my friends is taxation w/o representation.

JT Adams St

When the commissioners were asked in March about increasing the admissions tax, the Register reported that "Murray, whose firm Murray & Murray represents Cedar Fair, won’t answer the question because of his work relationship with the amusement park." After four months of silence because of this conflict, the mayor can finally speak. And what comes out of his mouth? Threats from Cedar Point. It would have been nice for him, after resolving his conflict, to act as an honest broker at a single commission meeting before he started issuing threats.

Babo

Also, it's a pretty safe bet that Murray and Murray still represent CF and that Dennis Jr is just not working on their files. Note he didn't say the firm no longer represents CF.

So if the firm still represents CF, he is still profiting from CF as he is a partner in the firm and shares in profits. IMO, he's on very thin ice in terms of legal ethics and the supporters of the Admission tax might consider filing a legal grievance on him.

downthemiddle

If CP pays city income tax it goes away if they move the office. Put a pencil to that.

Personally, I think the entire CP mgmt. should be fired over the roller coaster naming stunt.

doppleganger

The tourists put a great deal of wear and tear on our roads and most of them (tourists)are going to Cedar Point. For Cedar Fair not to recognize that is appalling. The admissions tax is needed to help pay for improvements to those roads among other things.

Comrade Boose

Want to help Rebuild Sandusky?
Meeting this Saturday July 20th 11am
Sail In (Meigs and E. Monroe)
or stop in to sign the petition.
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Tourist

As one of those people who visits Cedar Point several times a year, in addition to gouging ruts in your city's streets, I often stop and purchase things in Sandusky. And I must ask, does anyone in town ever try to consider how to cater to visitors and make some profit (thus helping your economy), instead of just complaining about them? From my experience, Toft's Ice Cream is the only place I've seen that makes an appropriate effort to accommodate some of the 17,000 extra people passing through Sandusky every day. Finding a place to eat after leaving the park is a real challenge.

Thomas Paine

AMEN!!!!!

Thomas Paine

Please visit downtown Sandusky when you visit...there are some really great new places that cater to visitors. As a long time resident I am embarrassed by how the residents here treat the visitors. We have made tremendous strides recently. Both Shores and Islands and our new city manager both seem to get it and have done a wonderful job recently of promoting the area as a destination.

doppleganger

You should try Crush or Zinc downtown. If they are too pricey after you are "gouged" you could try Subway if they are open. From my point of view: my taxes are high enough. Tourists (not you in particular) use our resources and it is only fair that they pay something to try and keep these services intact. Lots of police calls for people that are not residents of our city every day in the police blotter. If you come here to spend a day at Cedar Point, you are going to spend some money. Will you turn around and go home if it is $2.99 in admission taxes instead of $1.49? Really?

Tourist

A few dollars won't keep me out of Cedar Point. And you have good points about city services. I guess I see a lot of untapped potential when I drive through. (Sandusky is not alone in this by any means.)

bigdad1205

Where are they going to move their headquarters to? One of the cities they already have an amusement park in already that already has a higher amusement tax than we do. Go to the park the sign for tickets says $49.99 +taxes. The only way this affects them is the patrons would have less money to spend on a $4.00 coke.

FalconBall

And that's $4 less income for CP. Visitors will cut back on other things which may hurt area businesses as well. The unintended consequences will always bite you.

JT Adams St

Every dollar of tax revenue that Sandusky generates is one less dollar that could potentially be spent on a pepperoni pizza from Cameo. But if you want roads and safety services, somebody has to pay taxes. Would you really pass up $2.5 million in additional tax revenue on the theory that but for a 3% increase in the admissions tax, Cedar Point customers would come downtown for dinner?

wjs

Don't they flood downtown now? If some are to believed, tourists are destroying the roads in Sandusky. If that's true, they're certainly driving beyond the two miles of Milan Ave, Butler St., Cleveland Rd., and Cedar Point Road, right?

Thomas Paine

Just going to play devils advocate and argue the other side for a moment since it appears the majority are looking at it from just from their point of view. Cedar Point not only makes money from people paying to attend but also those that eat play games, and spend money inside the park. If you tax the 3,000,000 annual visitors extra to get into the park...some will choose to spend less to spend in the park. So Cedar Fair/ Cedar Point will have lost revenue because of a higher admissions tax even if they do not pay it. Doubling the tax without regards to the other sides view because they are a corporation and have money is a bad way to promote business and job growth in the area. It makes sense to approach the company that realistically is the identity of this area to come up with an agreement. I will even open up a bigger can of worms that nobody wants to touch but I believe discussing a Sandusky/Perkins merger should also be on the table.

doppleganger

Will you turn around and go home if it is $2.99 in admission taxes instead of $1.49?

wjs

Do you think it's that simple?

wjs

The admission tax is built in to the price of the ticket. A one-day ticket is $49.99. It is not $49.99 + 3% tax. So, it's not the same as buying a car or any comparison to sales tax. I'm sure they could sell it "plus tax," but they don't. And I'm sure there are lots of reasons for doing it the way they do. Regardless, whether the tax is presented separately or it's bundled, the bottom line is still an increase in the price of a ticket. That has an impact on everything it touches. It impacts attendance, which impacts the bed tax. It impacts Cedar Point's ability to increase prices to pay for new capital projects. Less money for new projects then also impacts attendance. After all, new rides aren't built for fun, they're built to keep bringing guests in to the park. If attendance was a guarantee - like some folks here seem to think - there would be no reason to build new projects. And maybe the impact of a 3% increase isn't catastrophic, but voters are doing themselves a disservice if they don't think through all the ramifications.

It also impacts the city's dependence on the tax. I can't believe no one is worried about the increase of the city's budget that is attributed to Cedar Point. In recent years, the admissions tax has accounted for roughly 18% of the city's overall revenue. If the tax doubles, and other revenue stays the same, that percentage jumps to 31%. The total revenue provided by income tax would fall from 44% to 37%. Are voters comfortable with that?

Similar cities in Ohio:

Wooster. In 2013, a 1% income tax made up 62% of $16 million budget. City raised tax to 1.5% for 2014.

Xenia. In 2009, 1.75% income tax made up 53% of revenue. It was not enough revenue to keep the city operating, the tax was raised to 2.25%.

Tiffin. In 2012, 1.75% income tax made up 57% of $12.5 million budget.

These cities, and many others, manage without the $2.8 million "head start" Sandusky gets. So the answer is to *further* reduce the dependance on income tax? Residents should be thrilled at having such an economic advantage within the city limits. But beware of the consequences of trying to shift the revenue burden too far to one side.

Thomas Paine

If these statistics are true it should end the argument about doubling the admission tax. But lets not let facts, logicical thinking, and the understanding that every action has some consequence get in the way of a good story.

JT Adams St

So, you think that if Sandusky increased its income tax by 75% to 1.75%, it would be more attractive to businesses interested in relocating here? Really?

Thomas Paine

I think a combination of both admission tax and increase of sale tax is the best way to go. Singling out one entity to support many is not good practice. There also happens to be a very large income base just south of Perkins Ave not paying any income tax. The township happens to have been in the paper with funding issues to maintain streets, and services as well. Why is a merger of Sandusky/Perkins not being even mildly discussed when both are having funding issues and there is a chunk of income sitting there being untaxed? What would adding that income base do for the city after subtracting the infrastructure and service costs of the addition of the township? Maybe its a horribly bad idea but I have yet to hear anyone even mildly discuss it as an option. Maybe there is a reason for that? I would like to hear from viable sources what those reasons are. I have always been curious especially recently with so much discussion about shared resources.

JT Adams St

The admissions tax doesn't single out one entity. It should be collected by any entity in Sandusky that charges an admissions fee. The idea that you shouldn't tax the customers of a particular business because its successful is pure insanity. Who would set up a tax system that only taxed the customers of unsuccessful businesses? Instead of looking at the total amount collected, look at the rate. Cedar Point customers pay 3%. The admissions tax in Cleveland, which is 8%. And 3% is low compared to the local sales tax, which is 7.25%. Why should the tax on toilet paper be more than double the tax on Cedar Point tickets?

JT Adams St

.

wjs

Seriously? Then why doesn't Ford sell the car for $21,400 instead of $19,999? Why does Best Buy sell an iPad for $299.99 instead of $320.99? And why do people buy on that iPad on Amazon instead of going in to their local Best Buy?

The only similarity is the word "tax."

JT Adams St

Because retail stores sell more than one product.

The Answer Person

It is nothing more than a temporary stop gap. Once again it is obvious that Cedar Point's income to Sandusky's coffers is exactly like a child with a trust fund. How you ask? As long as the money comes in and they can demand more more more, the child (aka Sandusky City) will continue to do nothing about helping themselves i.e. bringing industry and jobs to the area. Why do they need to?

SamAdams

An admissions tax increase is the single best way to see that tourists pay a little towards the services they use (and cause wear and tear on) the most: Roads. It's also an extremely small amount per individual, and so isn't going to be harmful to anybody's budget. Cedar Point won't pay an extra dime (as has been pointed out, the Park won't PAY the tax, merely COLLECT it, just as any merchant collects sales tax).

It does seem like the City could use a little added income, and when there's a way to do that without TAKING income from cash-strapped City residents or businesses involuntarily, wouldn't that be the obvious route to take?

The City wants to encourage businesses. It wants to encourage home ownership in the City. Raising the income tax would do just the opposite. Maybe if you've got a lot of money like Mr. Murray or some of the bigwigs at Cedar Point, an extra 1% or 1.5% out of every paycheck doesn't concern you. But for small business owners and for those of us struggling to pay the bills that just keep going up and up and UP, it is of very great concern indeed!

JT Adams St

There's the real choice: tax people who can afford to blow a few hundred dollars to spend a day riding roller coasters, or tax the people who work at Applebee's cooking burgers for those same tourists. I suppose there's a third choice, just let the roads fall apart, close a couple fire stations, and hope that your dead before Sandusky turns into little Detroit. The city commission has been pursuing the little Detroit option for the past six months.

wjs

No, as was pointed out, the admission tax is built in to the price of the ticket. A one-day ticket is $49.99. It is not $49.99 + 3% tax. Like I mentioned, I'm sure they could sell it "plus tax," but they don't. I'm guessing there are valid reasons to do it that way, economic, marketing, or otherwise.

If you're concerned about the roads - and, let's be honest, tourist traffic is only a problem on a small fraction of all city streets and roads - let's look at the budget. In 2012, the city of Sandusky's total Transportation expenditure was a net cost of $1,294,785. That's significantly less than the $2,529,399 collected that year in admissions tax.

Citizens have gotten used to a level of service that isn't realistic with a 1% income tax rate. Suddenly, when the golden goose no longer enough, you end up with some who think there's more gold, all the while furthering the fallacy that this is what you get for 1%.

JT Adams St

Who cares if its plus tax or tax included? So what if they have valid marketing reasons for how they incorporate taxes into their prices? They want all of their prices to end in 9.99; therefore, their customers should only be subject to a 3% tax rate, while a winter coat is taxed at over 7%? That's like saying that I don't want to have to bother to calculate my municipal taxes, so I've already written out a check to the city for $0; therefore, the appropriate income tax rate is 0%.

You're correct that residents have become accustomed to a level of service that isn't realistic with the current tax structure. Therefore, somebody is going to have to pay more taxes. The question is should it be the people with money to spend on amusement park tickets, or the typical Sandusky resident who is lucky to make $12 an hour.

Nor'easter

Does anyone realize that Cedar Point has received a HUGE TAX CUT due to the elimination of personal property tax. All of those rides that are bolted onto a concrete base are considered personal property and ARE NOT TAXED AS Real Estate. What is the value of the free ride for 17 Roller Coasters as opposed to the Real Estate Taxes paid on a Ruta, Sortino, Spadaro or other motels that pay real estate taxes on their total property? It is time to Pay the Piper. The free ride for is coming to an end.

bnjjad

Last time I checked. Roller coasters and rides are movable. Buildings, not so much.

Babo

Sure, but it doesn't change the fact that CF received a huge tax reduction with the elimination on personal property taxes that it used to have to pay. The rides are like factory machinery that used to be taxed but no longer is taxed as business personal property.

wjs

In most states, admissions are subject to sales tax. What happens if Ohio someday decides to do the same? I understand some of you view this is a no-risk, free money situation, where nothing bad will ever happen in the future and over-dependence on a single entity has no consequences. But, you know, just something to think about.

More fun facts:

Of the 66 municipalities who levy an admissions tax, 68% charge 3%. In 2011, only 3 of those municipalities collected more than $1 million in admissions tax: Cleveland ($12.9 million - 8% rate), Cincinnati ($4.6 million - 3% rate), and Sandusky ($2.6 million - 3% rate).

Of the 16 communities with an admissions tax over 3%, one had an income tax rate of 2.85%, three were 2.75%, ten were 2%, one at 1.5%, and one was 1% (Mayfield Hts, who collected $66,119 on a 5% tax). If you feel the urge to play the “if x% is good enough for them, it’s good enough for Sandusky,” remember what else could be "good enough."

JT Adams St

Excellent point. The state will eventually start collecting admissions taxes. Hopefully, our 6% rate will be grandfathered in, and the state won't be able to pillage our admissions tax revenues. Boy, wouldn't we look stupid if the state imposed a 6% admissions tax, but didn't collect any admissions tax from Cleveland, because it already had an 8% rate?

Barely Local

I don't think that an admission tax increase is the proper answer to this city's problems. It might as well be called a Cedar Point tax since I'm guessing 95%+ of it is coming from this one business. I am reading that many want this increase to help fire, police, dead trees, roads, general upkeep, etc. With the exception of roads, and especially 6 months out of the year, Cedar Point and its guests barely utilize these services and parts of town. Cedar Point could really almost be its own city since they already seem to have their own police, fire, and maintenance services. I did hear that one thing the city is responsible for (water main) shut the park down for two days last month.

Seeing blotter items and such it seems that most of the fire/police calls that go out are to local residents. I don't see why Cedar Point and its guests should be responsible for paying for things the city can't properly manage.

I've lived here for several years and haven't been impressed with this town so far. It seems like everyone is completely against Cedar Point and hates tourism. Visitors should be welcomed with open arms. This town is sad and desolate in the winter time and doesn't have the industries that once occupied it years ago. It's full of older, closed-minded people who don't want to develop the nice areas and spend more time arguing about petty issues. I hate to use the term "trashy" but there are so many people here who just don't seem to care... I mean what does it really take to paint your house and clean up your yard? Sure many other cities have these same problems, but Sandusky is not big and has one of the nicest locations on the lake in Ohio, yet much of it is run down and continues to decline.

Now I have noticed some positives lately and some redevelopment downtown. This has been great, but there's still a lot around to clean up and much more room for improvement. In the end, I'm no expert on this kind of stuff by any means, but something just doesn't seem right when a city is getting this big of a chunk of money from one particular seasonal business... Just an opinion from someone who hasn't been in Sandusky forever.

Thomas Paine

As a long time resident I couldn't agree more with every one of your points. Here is hoping the new leadership can turn things around. Some of that turn around is already visible. Hoping it continues, I love this town, always will and hope the positive momentum that has started gets its footing. For those on Twitter please follow our new city manager his posts are what all of us should feel about this town and hopefully reading his posts everyday will turn a few heads about the huge untapped potential this area has and give us all something we can be proud of.

SamAdams

I'll skip over your points on an admissions tax (I already put in my 2¢ on that one), but would like very much to address your "trashy" term by saying: YOU'RE RIGHT. I see people who obviously don't have a ton of money doing their best to keep their yard and home looking nice, so it isn't the cash that's the biggest issue. It's a complete lack of pride, apparently. After all, how much does it cost to pick up the trash in your yard? To trim the hedge? To do a little weeding? To pound a nail into those loose boards on the porch?

There's another City income point there, too. Supposedly, there are ordinances concerning mowing and, if you don't abide by them, you're fined. Just for grins and giggles, I actually counted yards that were in violation when I was on a walk one morning (since I obviously wasn't carrying a ruler, I didn't bother counting anything that was too long but might be just under the letter of the law). And in ONE MILE, there were ELEVEN! That's money just laying on the sidewalk, which the City apparently doesn't want to bend over and pick up (not to mention the unsightly appearance or the increased chances of vermin).

JT Adams St

@ Barely Local

Taxes aren't based on the consumption of resources. Do you believe that if someone had a $100 million in income, and paid a $1 million in city taxes, they would personally receive $1 million in services from the city? Do you believe that in a city with 2 residents, one of whom makes $10,000 per year, and the other who makes $1,000,000 per year, they should both pay the same amount of taxes, because the millionaire shouldn't be taxed disproportionately?

As far as taxing tourists, have you ever heard of hotel taxes? who do you think pays those? And exactly what city services do tourists receive in Chicago, or New York when they pay hotel taxes? Unlike hotel taxes, which are paid almost entirely by tourists, residents of Sandusky are also subject to the admissions tax. And, if they vote to increase the admissions tax, they will be voting to tax themselves.

As grossly unfair and anti-tourist as hotel taxes are, nobody in these forums has ever called for Perkins to repeal its anti-tourist hotel taxes.

Barely Local

I see your point, but I wasn't trying to infer that taxes are based on consumption. More that if Cedar Point didn't exist or even fall within Sandusky, how else would the city look to raise funds? Probably much like other cities without a seasonal amusement park. Just seems like this is kind of a stab at one particular business. Plus, hotel taxes seem to be a norm everywhere... Doubling an admission tax that would primarily affect one business and its customers seems strange/wrong to me. Just my opinion, though.

Barely Local

I see your point, but I wasn't trying to infer that taxes are based on consumption. More that if Cedar Point didn't exist or even fall within Sandusky, how else would the city look to raise funds? Probably much like other cities without a seasonal amusement park. Just seems like this is kind of a stab at one particular business. Plus, hotel taxes seem to be a norm everywhere... Doubling an admission tax that would primarily affect one business and its customers seems strange/wrong to me. Just my opinion, though.

Barely Local

I see your point, but I wasn't trying to infer that taxes are based on consumption. More that if Cedar Point didn't exist or even fall within Sandusky, how else would the city look to raise funds? Probably much like other cities without a seasonal amusement park. Just seems like this is kind of a stab at one particular business. Plus, hotel taxes seem to be a norm everywhere... Doubling an admission tax that would primarily affect one business and its customers seems strange/wrong to me. Just my opinion, though.

wjs

For reference, here are tax rates of cities with similar population to Sandusky (ordered by population)

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%)

Thomas Paine

Finally some real statistics.

gene44870

If the new city manger wants to really help this failing. Crime riddled city . Forget cedar point and focus on getting better paying and year round jobs . When people are working they pay taxes and it may even help braden the tax base zo the fire as well as other dept can remain open . Stop tfing to get Cedar point to carry the burden for this whole city .
Take a history lesson from back in the 50s 60s as well as part ic not all of the 70s and the clinton erea . Things in this town were good and problems eere miner compared to when the City of Sandusky ran the vood paying jobs out to make this a Vactionlanx not to menten a highercrime area .
Wake up Sandusky

Nor'easter

Look at the most successful tourist town in the county and their tax programs. Orlando 8% Admissions tax and NO income tax, Las Vegas 10% admissions tax and NO income tax. If you want a vibrant successful tourist town, follow the leaders.

wjs

There is no admissions tax in Florida. Admissions are charged 6% state sales tax plus applicable local sales tax.

Truth or Dare

CEDAR POINT DOES NOT PAY THIS TAX, THE CONSUMER DOES AND THEY ARE NOT THE ONLY BUSINESS WITHIN THIS AREA THAT COLLECTS IT! Let's get real here! Our factory/job base has declined, except for the growth out on the west end and within TOURISM! Thanks to C.P., Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie, the Islands and yes other cities to the east and west of us. Our area certainly is a tourist destination and has been for well over a century and that is all we have been advertised to be for a few decades now.

FYI Tourists, thanks to yet more FEDERAL $$$'s we manage to make sure our main arteries leading north are travelable, even to the point of building a new overpass on the west end. One that cut off an entire neighborhood! We're also stuck carrying the tax burden of revolving loans for businesses that didn't pan out, paying for the demolition of foreclosed upon, abandoned factories and buildings, property you may pass along the way, as well millions in stolen FEDERAL tax $$$$$'s that have never been re-couped, hundreds of thousands in "forgiven" and unpaid property taxes, unpaid WATER BILLS and lawsuits, and they want me to pay more in income tax? Sorry, going to need the difference to pay my increase in the water bill we will be seeing! That 30% making $100K and more, feel free to donate it if you so choose. Please understand, there are far too many who come into this town to work, who pay income taxes, that won't have a vote in it being raised.

Our Commissioners sat back knowing this was being worked on. They didn't take it seriously and they presented no solutions as to producing more revenue, until the 10th. hour. Throughout this process, one managed quite well to talk a good talk, earning trust and all the while doing nothing but their best in stalling this process for a couple of weeks. After the call I received Monday afternoon and then attending Monday's meeting, the backroom bartering and stranglehold CP has over this city that has taken place for decades became even more crystal clear! A letter of resignation doesn't un-connect any dots, doesn't remove that conflict of interest for them and every last elected Commissioner past and present.

Folks are willingly and happily signing petitions and actually saying "thank you, you're doing a good thing" and just an FYI, the signatures far outweigh those who refuse, those using the argument "that's the problem with this city, they want to kill the golden goose", yet in the very next breath state that the income tax should be raised. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but if it wasn't for those in the past, feeling an admission tax was needed, we wouldn't have it let alone an income tax, right? It was the deal worked out, right? It's so sad, and negligible that the entirety of Sandusky hasn't had for decades now the same concern and consideration as the behemoth on the peninsula, the main arteries leading to it and downtown of course!

WhatTheHeck

Cp threatens us all the time about taking corporate offices out of Sandusky. The new Ceo's wife has stated publicley she hates Sandusky. The Ceo is planning to take offices to California, which is in progress anyways. All men out there know when the little women speaks that rules. I love the tourists. I paid 8 per cent to see Indians. What is a $1.50 per ticket. Water cost more than that. Beginning of the season they haul bus loads of employees that does not speak english, they pay no income tax. 75 per cent work there. My grandchild can not get a job there and has lived in Sandusky all his life. When I worked at CP they had jobs for the locals. They threaten to move the park, I know alot of people would love to have a condo there. Please SUPPORT the Addmission tax. No more income taxes. Every business in this town has the burdon of charging 7.25 per cent SALES Tax. What Sales Tax CP charges??

wjs

Emotional arguments ignore facts, but if you're worried about Cedar Point getting a "freebie" because they don't charge 7.25% sales tax on tickets, then change the state law and charge sales tax. Let's give 5.75% of the ticket price to the state, 1.5% to Erie County, and the city can get zero.

The fact that the new CEO doesn't live in Sandusky isn't personal. He lives closer to Cleveland for the easy airport access. See, he understands the company has amusement parks all over the country and only needs to spend a small amount of time at Cedar Point. This is a dramatic shift from the previous CEO, who spent a disproportionate time at Cedar Point so he could micromanage the flagship park.

Babo

You miss the point..it is precisely because the State recognizes that large recreational facilities such as Cedar Point or professional sports stadium disproportionately burdens a municipality that the state doesn't apply sales tax to admissions but allows the municipality to exclusively tax admissions so the money is not shared with the state or county. Cedar Point gets an enormous break that other businesses do not receive in that it does not pay sales tax on admissions but it and its customers still benefit from the infrastructure everybody else's taxes provide. The admissions tax allows a community to collect from a large recreational facilities CUSTOMERS the use of the city's infrastructure.

wjs

Emotional arguments ignore facts, but if you're worried about Cedar Point getting a "freebie" because they don't charge 7.25% sales tax on tickets, then change the state law and charge sales tax. Let's give 5.75% of the ticket price to the state, 1.5% to Erie County, and the city can get zero.

The fact that the new CEO doesn't live in Sandusky isn't personal. He lives closer to Cleveland for the easy airport access. See, he understands the company has amusement parks all over the country and only needs to spend a small amount of time at Cedar Point. This is a dramatic shift from the previous CEO, who spent a disproportionate time at Cedar Point so he could micromanage the flagship park.

Comrade Boose

Need someone from the muirewood village area to gather signatures.
inbox us on our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Rebuild... or show up at this Saturdays meeting. Also anyone else that would be interested in gathering signatures we would love to have you join the cause.

Meeting this Saturday
11am
Sail In
Meigs and E. Monroe

Truth or Dare

Emotional argument? You want to see emotional argument, take a moment and have a conversation w/the women whose husband had a heart attack and it took so long for EMS he suffered severe brain damage and died! You may have caught her at one of the most recent past Commission meetings? She was pretty clear as to how she feels, not afraid let alone ashamed of her emotions. Or, I suggest you spend the same amount of hours one would work in a "normal" work day knocking on the doors of west end homeowners/residents and voters who are pissed off beyond measure in regards to #7 being closed, train obstruction all the time or very slow moving trains and all because they put the tracks in wrong, or just plain being cut-off, or being the new main route tour busses from the west are taking. Hey, just take a left turn off 6 onto Edgewater to W. Monroe, straight shot to C.P.. See, it too is now a main artery to the park! Talk to these folks, especially retired city personnel! What a history lesson you would receive!

I could care less where the CEO lives and certainly don't wish him or anyone else any ill will. Question; Should the corporate office move, will they be relocating their employees within that office? They doing any hiring, cause I'm almost jealous as I would love to move to California. I know the perfect place and it would be the best of both worlds. Lake Tahoe only l.5 hrs. to the east and the PCH 2 hrs. to the west and from there, one gorgeous scenic trip heading north or south! Been there, done that! For now, I'll stick w/my own slice of heaven on the Lake and Bay, warts and all.

wjs

With so much at stake, why are residents so bent on remaining one of the few cities its size with a 1% tax rate? Do they think they live in a special bubble where the realities of the cost of local government don't apply? Do residents think they live in the only city with a struggling economy and poverty? Every other city in the state can afford a 2% tax rate, because they're filled with millionaires? I was talking about this with a friend the other day. He pays 2% to his city. He was buying into the admissions tax increase argument, until I told him city residents only pay 1%. All sympathy went out the window.

Babo

Take a good look at where almost all new businesses locate Perkins Township, in part because it has no income tax and much better egress and ingress.

prairieChicken

Thomas Paine - take a look at this web site and ask yourself why Perkins Twp would agree to merging with a city whose residents make a fraction of what the average Perkins resident earns: http://www.city-data.com/neighbo...

WhatTheHeck

Thank God someone with common sense!