PRO­POSAL

The Columbus Dispatch - - Front Page - Mko­[email protected]­patch.com @OhioCap­i­talBlog

The change was among amend­ments made in ad­vance of the ses­sion — the last city coun­cil meet­ing of the year — and more amend­ments could be of­fered prior to the vot­ing.

There are two tick­et­tax or­di­nances on the agenda for coun­cil con­sid­er­a­tion.

One would im­ple­ment a 5 per­cent ad­mis­sions tax on per­for­mances and ath­let­ics events cost­ing more than $10 per ticket at venues with more than 400 seats, not in­clud­ing Na­tion­wide Arena.

The tax would gen­er­ate an es­ti­mated $ 6 mil­lion an­nu­ally for lo­cal arts groups through the Greater Columbus Arts Coun­cil.

The other or­di­nance, a 5 per­cent fee on tick­ets for Na­tion­wide Arena events, would gen­er­ate about $3 mil­lion, with $2.4 mil­lion go­ing to arena improvements and $600,000 for grants to sup­port “other cul­tural arts fa­cil­i­ties, pub­lic art, sports venues, and per­for­mance arts spa­ces,” ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments.

The coun­cil re­duced the rate to 5 per­cent from the 7 per­cent pro­posed when the ticket tax was an­nounced months ago. Mem­bers have been mak­ing other tweaks to the lan­guage in hopes of gain­ing sup­port.

Tick­ets for events that sup­port non­profit groups that do not re­ceive op­er­at­ing or pro­gram fund­ing from the arts coun­cil would be ex­empt, said Michael Brown, chief of staff for city coun­cil Pres­i­dent Shan­non Hardin.

That would in­clude the cham­ber and Ex­pe­ri­ence Columbus an­nual meet­ings or galas and All Amer­i­can Quar­ter Horse events that fund schol­ar­ships.

Hardin told The Dis­patch on Fri­day morn­ing that he did not ex­pect changes to the 5 per­cent ticket-tax fig­ure.

But fur­ther amend­ments could be of­fered be­fore a fi­nal vote, he said.

While there likely will be enough sup­port for pas­sage, it doesn’t ap­pear that the fi­nal votes will be unan­i­mous.

“It’s fair to say that coun­cil mem­bers con­tinue to have ques­tions and have been scru­ti­niz­ing what’s been pre­sented and what changes are be­ing pre­sented to make sure we’re pro­vid­ing what’s go­ing to be best (for res­i­dents and or­ga­ni­za­tions) in the city of Columbus,” said Coun­cil­man Michael St­inziano.

The ticket taxes would not take ef­fect un­til July 2019, though one op­po­nent thinks a planned ref­er­en­dum would block them from ever be­ing im­ple­mented.

“It’s un­con­scionable what they’re do­ing here,” said Mike Gonidakis, rep­re­sent­ing Ad­vo­cates for Re­spon­si­ble Tax­a­tion. “Who pays? The cit­i­zens and small­busi­ness owners. This is ridicu­lous.”

Pro­po­nents say it’s a fair way to gen­er­ate revenue to sup­port the arts be­cause the fee would be paid by users.

Op­po­nents would have about a month af­ter the or­di­nances are cer­ti­fied to col­lect about 8,900 sig­na­tures to ei­ther force coun­cil to re­peal the or­di­nances or place them on the bal­lot for a fi­nal de­ter­mi­na­tion by vot­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.