It was a turning point Tuesday by a unanimous vote of Sandusky city commissioners.
It was a turning point for residents, too, and for the city's greatest corporate citizen, Cedar Point and Cedar Fair.
Cedar Fair clearly showed the company's commitment to the city developing and supporting a 1 percent admissions tax increase. What company or corporation have you ever heard of supporting a tax increase on itself? That kind of commitment to the city has been longstanding, both in a financial sense in a huge way, and in an understanding that a better Sandusky is better for Cedar Point.
The tax measures commissioners approved for the November ballot also includes a 0.25 percent increase in the city's income tax.
The agreement and understanding the city reached with Cedar Point also is designed to restructure the world's greatest amusement park chain to solidify Sandusky as its world headquarters. The financial and symbolic impact of that is significant.
The combined annual revenue — $3 million with Cedar Fair funding the lion's share — will stabilize the city's finances and provide money to fix roads, improve infrastructure and services and plan for the city's future.
The residents who fought for change, commissioners and executives at Cedar Fair all worked with faith in each other and came away with a plan with which they all agreed. It was pretty remarkable process, and vote, giving the city a working plan for its future.
For voters, the tax is the smallest normal percentage increment for a tax rate change — 25 cents for every $100 of income. That very modest increase is similar to the finance plan the Sandusky Schools has on the fall ballot.
It's important, we believe, that voters consider the city's plan and the Sandusky School district's similarly modest request together as one package for the city's future. If approved by voters, the small increase in property taxes will bring more than $20 million in matching state funding to build the new K-6 school next to Sandusky High School.
A financially sound city government able to provide basic services and planned development and a strong well-suited public school district are two of the most important assets any community can have.
The city's future will be in voters' hands this fall.