City council rejects Kings Island admission tax

February 9, 2010, 8:34 AM · The Mason, Ohio city council last night finally voted on that proposed ticket and parking tax for Kings Island, rejecting the proposal.

The tax would have raised about $2.4 million (a number I figured out here) by adding 3 percent to the cost of tickets and passes and 5 percent to the parking fee.

That's not much per ticket - it would have worked out to about a buck extra per ticket I bought last year, plus an extra 50 cents or so on the parking. And the councilman who proposed the tax increase said it would have gone toward improving roads the highway interchange and access road to the park. But Kings Island launched a PR blitz against the tax, e-mailing passholders to turn out in opposition.

Looks like it worked.

Replies (6)

February 9, 2010 at 11:06 AM · On face value, it looks selfish on KI's part - denying the county money to go to road improvements that service KI's customers.

Then again, the councilman never let us see where this $3M figure came from, or how it would be divided, so chances are some of it would be poured into the community's other ventures (as Robert pointed out previously).

Pretty amazing the way theme parks seem to share a bond with many of their customers. You don't see other entertainment businesses, say Apple, branching out for support from their customers, asking them to vote against a ban on laptop computers in college lecture halls at some university, for example.

February 9, 2010 at 11:33 AM · Cedar Fair doesn't always take kindly to the city taxing their businesses. They've dueled with Sandusky over parking taxes in the past. They are battling Santa Clara and the 49ers over a proposed stadium on their parking lot. It doesn't surprise me that they tighten up on even the smallest of increases, because they know it opens the door to more later, and they don't want the city thinking that they can just milk the cash cow whenever they have budget shortages elsewhere. They don't like to increase ticket or parking prices, and they don't want to eat millions of dollars on the whim of city council. It also shows the loyalty of their fans and customers, who evidently made enough noise for city council to listen.

There's nothing wrong with I71 at either exit to Kings Island, nor is there anything wrong with the interchanges or Kings Island Drive. If there were, I would attribute it just as much to the snarled 5pm Cincinnati rush hour 12 months of the year as I do the 4 months of Kings Island traffic. The council representative can say that to justify the tax, but if there's nothing wrong with the roads, much would have gone somewhere else.

February 9, 2010 at 12:12 PM · Any company that can keep a local government from spending tax money to build a pro sports stadium gets a brownie point from me.

I don't live in Cincinnati, so I don't have a dog in this fight. In general, I don't think that the amounts discussed were that burdensome, but at the same time I think that local governments should build broad, diverse tax bases, rather than hitting any single source too hard.

What got me in the news story about the vote were the people who laughed at the claim from the council member that he was a conservative.

Pet peeve time: I consider myself very conservative financially. And I consider it a conservative value to pay up front for what you need. I don't see it as very conservative to borrow the money, or to wait for someone else to pick up the tab. Nor do I consider it conservative to defer maintenance to the point where something falls apart and you have to pay for an even more expensive rebuild.

Kicking the can down the road to future generations isn't conservative. It's selfish.

Now maybe these numbers worked, maybe they didn't. But saying a guy's not conservative just because he supported raising taxes to pay for something he considered a community need is just wrong, in my book. This just drives me nuts about the teabaggers and Club for Growth wackos who have hijacked the conservative name on financial issues.


February 9, 2010 at 2:55 PM · I grew up in the Kings Island area, and in fact my family still lived there up until a few years ago. I specifically remember when the city of Mason annexed Kings Island away from Deerfield Township which Kings Island has a closer proximity to. From that point on taxes stopped going to the Kings local school district (which I attended- albeit long before this issue) and instead went to the Mason schools. realize that both the Kings High School and Middle are literally in Kings Island's back yard- right by the SOB- so that community felt a great loss from this annex. No one was surprised to see Mason grow into a large, highly rated district, while the rest of the local townships got nothing.

I am glad that the tax was voted against, and shame on Mason for trying to get even more money from Kings Island which they do not deserve!

February 9, 2010 at 3:11 PM · Interesting background there, anonymous. Thanks for that.
February 9, 2010 at 5:30 PM · Robert -

Thank you for your proper definition of being financially conservative. I don't know where the term went (honestly, those damn teabaggers think Obama's a socialist - he's made incredible cuts in the latter half of his presidency, thus far). They give conservatives a bad name.

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