New taxes target Cedar Point parking and Sandusky marinas

Posted Friday, January 21, 2005 11:44 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Sandusky City Manager Michael Will recommended increasing Sandusky's admissions tax to 3.75 percent and broadening its base to include marinas, campgrounds, nonprofit groups and parking. This tax would essentially bring back the parking tax that Cedar Point fought to have repealed.

Read more from The Morning Journal.

Link: PointBuzz

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Friday, January 21, 2005 11:57 AM
You had to see this coming. Get shot down one way, figure out another way to install it. It's all a matter of semantics, but either way Sandusky was going to find a way to make more money off the Point.
Friday, January 21, 2005 12:50 PM
Taxing non profits? Whoa that's low.
Friday, January 21, 2005 1:09 PM
you think that some CP officials would manage to get some park friendly people into Sandusky's administration, I am not a fan of campaign finance laws, but they do work
Friday, January 21, 2005 1:36 PM
Here we go again... slow learners, eh?
Friday, January 21, 2005 1:48 PM
What is the bed tax these days? When I was at the point taxes added up to 11%. I think it was 6% Ohio State Tax, the Municipal tax and the "bed tax".

I am all for businesses being good neighbors and paying their fair share of the costs incurred as a result of that business (roads in the case of Cedar Point) but I don't think the City should overburden a portion of the business community just because it can.

Without Cedar Point, how many hotels do you think would be in Sandusky? Do you think there would be 4 indoor waterparks sprouting up there? How many jobs does the park create? Sure, most are seasonal positions but those kids spend money in Sandusky when they are there and there are several hundred full time jobs.

It sounds like this is the City Manager with all the ideas and previous comments from the Commission tend to not favor this proposal.

Friday, January 21, 2005 1:51 PM
Is it legal to tax non-profits, or is that just an unwritten rule that they're not taxed? That parking pass is looking like a better and better deal.

Way to bite the hand that feeds again. They already have their own police force, declare themselves the municipality of Cedar Point, OH. Use the taxes they already pay to maintain a fire department and ambulance services and who's to stop them?

Friday, January 21, 2005 2:04 PM
If you were the city manager (presumably elected) in a town with the demographics of Sandusky, what would you do: try to convince your constituents that they should pay, or try to convince your constituents that the toursts that don't live there and don't vote there but visit and drop $300 per night on hotel rooms and thousands of dollars on boat slips should pay?

This is so obvious it's not even funny. I realize that we all end up paying the brunt of it, but still, the shock and amazement I see every time some amusement/hotel tax is raised is naive at best.*** This post was edited by Brian Noble 1/21/2005 2:05:51 PM ***

Friday, January 21, 2005 2:48 PM
City managers are appointed by city council, and the elected mayor is more of a ceremonial position than anything else. It's a common, and usually very effective, form of government.
Friday, January 21, 2005 3:03 PM
The four newest commisioners have said that they will not pass a parking tax. Nor do they want to tax the non-profits.

Brian hit it right on the head. A majority of the citizens of Sandusky stated in a survey that they did not want to be taxed any more and were in favor of taxing tourists. Their thinking is that the tourists come in, use city services (police,fire, ambulance etc.), tear up the streets and so on, so they should pay more in taxes.

Jeff is also right. The city manager is hired by the city council (who are elected).

Friday, January 21, 2005 3:08 PM
Can we say, been there, done that?
Friday, January 21, 2005 3:21 PM
I am neither shocked or awed. I work in City Government so I know the issues well.

But, just because it is the easy decision doesn't mean it is the right decision. It is my understanding that occupancy rates actually fell at the Point last year. Does that mean people were choosing to just day trip to the park instead of making it an overnight destination? If so, why were they doing that?

If occupany rates in the City fall you can be darn sure that will have a negative impact. Loss of jobs being the most obvious and immediate impact.

Do the tourists use City services? Absolutely. But, it is the winters that have a bigger adverse affect on city streets than it is the tourists. The positives the tourists bring far outweigh the negatives in a community who relies heavily, if not predominantly, on tourist spending.

It isn't going to hurt in the short term but it may in the long term. The City of Ft. Lauderdale chased away the spring breakers years ago because they were a "nuisance". So, Daytona and then Panama City Beach became the new spring break headquarters. In the past few years Ft. Lauderdale has been trying to lure the spring breakers back because they miss the economic impact that had.

Friday, January 21, 2005 4:18 PM
Actually Impulse-ive, they have a fire dept. also, with a couple of small fire engines. They just need to expand that a bit. I like your idea though, that would really stick it to the city. I love the idea of CP becoming a municipality. They already have residents on the Chausee, and CP maintains that road from what I understand. Being a part of Sandusky doesn't bring CP much, if anything.

These same Sandusky city officials had a bit of a scandal last year when they had a "business meeting" at Put-In-Bay.

Saturday, January 22, 2005 4:28 PM
I agree.. Cedar Point should definitely look into becomming their own municipality. Isn't Universal Studios it's own municipality? (forget if it's FL or CA.. but one of those)
Sunday, January 23, 2005 11:26 AM
I think you're right, I think the one in California is.
Sunday, January 23, 2005 3:00 PM
At least if they're going to be hammering on the Point, they're doing it in an intelligent manner. Unlike, say, the way Kennywood is being treated. Taxes raised on consumers who transit in and out of the area is much more appealing than massive "occupation taxes" slapped on the parks own employess. And frankly, these tax hikes are scarcely going to stop tourists from coming to the park. Maybe they'll spend a little less actually in the shops as a result of having to pay more to park, but all in all the actuall effect on the park is probably going to be negligible.
Monday, January 24, 2005 3:26 AM
Glory- Actually, the effects on the park could be a big deal. If you remember last year when Sandusky slapped that tax on CP's parking lot, CP ate the cost instead of passing it on to their guests. Wasn't it like $.65 per car or something? Multiply that by the hundreds of thousands or maybe millions of cars in a year, and it adds up quick...

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