Sandusky officials approve Cedar Point parking tax

Posted Tuesday, April 15, 2003 5:02 AM | Contributed by Gemini

In a 5-1 vote, Sandusky city commissioners last night approved an 8 percent parking tax, which affects only Cedar Point Amusement Park, to go into effect immediately.

Read more from The Morning Journal.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003 4:52 AM
I guess the city of Sandusky considers Cedar Point their own personal cash cow. Since the Point cannot simply get up and move, I wonder what they'll do to counter this.

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The Toledo Blah, One of America's Great Birdcage Liners

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003 5:02 AM
When I first read this yesterday I figured that CP could increase other prices and make parking free. Then I see that Sandusky is already getting a 3% tax on admissions. Now with todays news article I have an other idea for CP... Make parking free but increase the cost of the causeway toll from 50 cents to $8.00. Sandusky can't tax the toll.

Good luck to CP in fighting this tax grab.

Regards,
Kevin Reid
PCW Junkies - Ultimate PCW Guide

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We are paid by those who learned from our mistakes...

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003 5:06 AM
If I was the park I would just elminate the parking fee, keep the 50 cent causeway fee, and just bump up the price of admission and advertise free parking!

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Dan Haverlock
Magnum:2233
www.dannyjphoto.com
"How do you own disorder?"

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003 5:11 AM
While I would agree with that, there's an admission tax too, so you're just shifting those dollars around, they still get paid.

I can't believe they had the balls to pass that. If they were smart, the commissioners would shut their holes. When you're telling the press "we need the money," a judge isn't going to have much sympathy for them when it goes to court. If I were a citizen being taxed like this, to compensate for their own inability to operate the city, it would be unacceptable. The difference there is I'd be a voter. The lone business being taxed in this case has no say, and that's wrong.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
"The world rotates to The Ultra-Heavy Beat!" - KMFDM

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003 5:19 AM
It'll never happen, but out of spite, CP should shut downs for a year and watch the economy of the city nosedive.

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Goccvp1

I sure do miss the Idora Wildcat & Jackrabbit.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003 6:14 AM
Ok, I'm making this up as I go along, and haven't worked out any real estimates yet, but how about this:

Cedar Point still charges the same $8 for parking ($7.something + the new 8% tax) That $8 becomes a one-time seasonal parking fee -- "here's your window sticker for the rest of the year, have a nice day". Yes, lots of people go only once a season, but many go two or three times -- not enough to justify the cost of a parking pass as the prices stand now, but enough that they'd seriously benefit. I'd wager some of them would even be inclined to come back a few more times "now that parking is free".

Cedar Point then raises admission by $1 or so. Some of that goes to the city, yes, but a much smaller percentage than the parking.

That way, Cedar Point still gets some money for maintenance of the parking lot (what I imagine a good part of the parking fee goes towards), and even though the city gets some cash, it's not nearly the sum they're expecting.

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--Greg, aka Oat Boy
My page
"I can't believe I just left a nuclear weapon in an elevator." -- Farscape

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003 6:26 AM
3% is less than 8% (at least that what my math teacher said)....so increasing admission and cutting parking fees DOES make some sense....

Guess-timating people per car, season passes, etc....I'd say a $2-3 increase in admission price and cutting parking by about $5 would end up with CP making the same money, patrons paying the same money, and Sandusky getting what they deserve for such a blatant cash grab (working *with* CP first might have made for a better "good neighbor policy")....

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003 7:20 AM
Okay, I did a little research and for the fiscal year of 2002, Revenues exceed expenses http://www.ci.sandusky.oh.us/PDF/Fin.pdf_bcDJ_W.pdf , but because of previous years of red ink they had a negtive balance, and didn't cover that. Well it seems to me like they need better management of about 411,000. But you can also check out the CAFR http://auditsearch.auditor.state.oh.us/RPIE/PDF/approve/city_of_sandusky_00-erie.pdf
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Tuesday, April 15, 2003 7:24 AM
''It's not a tax on Cedar Point,'' argued Ginty, who has been a vocal supporter of the tax. ''If you don't go to Cedar Point, you don't pay the tax.'' - City Commissioner John Ginty.

How does that NOT make it a Cedar Point tax?

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003 7:37 AM
Because it applies to all paid parking in the city! Duh! ;)

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
"The world rotates to The Ultra-Heavy Beat!" - KMFDM

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003 7:48 AM
This reminds me of a Simpsons episode where a movie company chooses Springfield to film "Radioactive Man". The city of Sandu...er, I mean Springfield, seeing the movie production as a cash bonanza, subsequently starts creating all sorts of crazy fees and taxes, including a tax on the director's pants. The company, out of money, sadly returns to the "welcoming" arms of Hollywood.

The commissioner is right, it's not a tax on Cedar Point...it's a tax on the park's patrons (mostly non-local tourists) who for the most part have no clue about this. It's a pretty safe (and sneaky) way of raising revenue without angering the "locals".

I'm not agreeing with the city's decision though. I think this entire country is taxed enough (when 25% of what I earn goes to taxes, plus 6.5% sales tax, plus all the taxes (like this one) that you don't see, and lots of others that you do). Not to mention Ohio Governor Bob Taft who ran for reelection last year based on one claim that his Democratic opponent would tax the daylights out of us. Then, there's a budget "crisis" and Taft wants to create all sorts of new taxes (including an amusement tax) because he's cut all he can from the budget - this despite the fact that spending is increasing for the next budget.

Phwew. Sorry about that - I'll get off my soapbox now. :)

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Jeff's Stalker
My K'Nex Coasters
Spring has arrived in Ohio...the Orange Barrels are blooming

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003 8:00 AM
I thought of that Simpsons right away too! ".....we just passed a tax on puffy director pants." "I'm not wearing puffy director pants" "I meant a tax on not wearing them"

Bad move Sandusky..... :(

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- "I used to be in the audio/visual club, but I was kicked out because of my views on Vietnam........and I was stealing projectors" - Homer Simpson

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003 9:15 AM
"The city of Sandusky deserves to be compensated for the use of the city by the park and its visitors, Ginty said."

This comment especially bothers me. Sandusky already IS compensated for "use of the city" -- 3% of the gate, PLUS all the money flowing into the area hotels and restaraunts as a direct result of Cedar Point's presence.

The claim that this isn't a tax on Cedar Point, when they admit it's the only business affected, is ridiculous.

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--Greg, aka Oat Boy
My page
"I can't believe I just left a nuclear weapon in an elevator." -- Farscape

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003 11:01 AM
I remember back, I think it was sometime in the 80s when Seaworld Ohio was still see world, maybe it was even before Busch owned it. Seaworld too was in Aurora and Bainbridge and the city the gate was on, they (SW) figured they could save money and thus moved the gate over about 30 feet over the boundary and paid much less in taxes to the other city instead.

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Please visit the small parks. We don't know what's happening behind the scenes
Woodencoaster.com

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003 11:21 AM
One quick correction...

Gov. Taft did NOT propose an "amusement tax." What was proposed was that the existing state sales tax should be extended to many things which are presently exempt from the sales tax, including haircuts, dry cleaning, cable TV service and entertainment tickets.

It would amount to a new 5% tax on amusement park tickets, and in fact would also subject such tickets to local sales taxes, and in some cases would subject such admission fees to double taxation because of existing ticket taxes.

Hmmm...Gov. Taft is subject to term limits at the end of this term, isn't he. Not that it matters, as he 'burned the lot' in this term. Talk about an argument against term limits...!

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003 11:22 AM
I too resent being viewed as a freeloader by the city of Sandusky. I'm contributing to the ticket tax, sales tax, eating at a place that would not be there if it wasn't for the Point, hotel tax, and others. I come to their city to visit their tourist attractions. Boy, I must be a jerk.

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The Toledo Blah, One of America's Great Birdcage Liners

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003 11:38 AM
GregLeg said: "PLUS all the money flowing into the area hotels and restaraunts as a direct result of Cedar Point's presence."

Well, most of the hotels in the area are not in the city of Sandusky. Most are in Perkins Township. That said, I don't think Perkins Township gets any tax money directly from Cedar Point.

I would go as far to say Perkins Township has just as many "tourist problems" as Sandusky, if not more ... at least as far as congestion and strain on the system are concerned. I wonder how much of this parking tax the city will share with the township for all the problems they have to deal with. Maybe the township should make Rt. 250 a toll road. I'm sure Sandusky would if they had the chance :)

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Virtual Midway
http://www.virtualmidway.com

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003 2:23 PM
First time poster and not been to Cedar Point before, that happens later this summer.

I'm just curious about some people making the comment about Cedar Point raising admission and lowering parking as a way to stick it to the city.

Here's my math...and the numbers for admission and parking are not necessarily correct, just easier to calculate.

Family for four in a car paying $8 bucks parking * 8% =

$0.64 total parking tax for four people

Now the Family of four goes to pay for admission (2 adults/2 kids)

$20 buck admission for kids * 3% tax = $0.60 * 2 kids = $1.20

$30 buck admission for adults * 3% tax = $0.90 * 2 adults = $1.80

$3 bucks total for four people for admission tax

So how does raising admission help the situation when most people are being taxed for parking as a group while being taxed individually for admission. The city would wind up making more money that way anyway. Someone with a large plot of land needs to come up with a shuttling service. Don't charge people for parking but rather charge them for boarding the shuttle instead. Since Sandusky would eventually start up a shuttling tax, it'd be best if this land were located outside of Sandusky.

Valentin

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003 3:03 PM
Nothing like biting the hand that feeds you.

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SWSH
midwestinfoguide.com

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