I absolutely despise corporate welfare (see: the FL light rail threads), but I equally hate the concept of placing an undue tax burden upon ONE business/industry.
Living in FL means I can grasp the concept of tourism and hospitality as being "clean and green" businesses, making money AND providing jobs while keeping the environment free from pollution. While local governments see these businesses as a good way to tax *out-of-towners*, I think they're better off in the long run with more stuff like the bed taxes or gas taxes, where the burden is spread more equally and *doesn't* as directly impact your tourist-type industry....
Of course, I'm a big fan of "user fees", so what do I know about *tax and spend* politics...:)
The situation with West Mifflin borough is happening all over Western PA. When they had money, they spent it unwisely. Now that they are strapped for cash, they have to tax everything they possibly can to meet their budget, even when it is their BIGGEST source of revenue.
rollergator, about your comment on bed taxes and gas taxes, if I remember correctly there aren't any hotels and only 1 or 2 gas stations in the borough, even if they did have hotels and gas stations they probally wouldn't tax them because it makes too much sense. :)
O.K., Phantom, I'm assuming you don't live near Kennywood. At least, I hope not. Otherwise, you're completely immune to the hotels that they have been building on Lebanon Church Rd in the last couple of years. Not to mention the fact that there's more than two gas stations a couple of blocks from Kennywood. I have no idea how many gas stations West Mifflin has, but there's sure more than two. This is the place that is home to close to a dozen hotels/motels, a big mall, god knows how many businesses, and one amusement park: always adding taxes to the amusement park, like a good borough. Though, they did make sure to already charge me my $10 occupation tax for this year.
What? You mean raising taxes could possibly lead to increased cost for goods and services? No way! I say stick it to BIG AMUSMENT PARK! Tearing down all those trees to build their wooden joy machines! BIG AMUSMENT PARK is the enemy! Tax them to oblivion! How dare they want a profit! I'm sure they don't pay their fair share!
The Kennywood spokesman stated that the 2004 prices were already set. I imagine that they already have tickets and advertisements and things of that nature printed up or in the process of being printed. That is the only reason that I could think of for not raising the price now. I can't believe that these politicians in western Pa. cannot see the writing on the wall. They have basically taxed industry out of existence and now that they are broke, rather than finding ways to save money, they raise current taxes and are coming up with new ones. And people keep reelecting them?
West Mifflin is a huge boro. There are well over a dozen hotel/motels, many retail outlets, at least ten car dealerships, bowling alleys, an airport, a few Pizza Huts, and everything else you'd expect.
Sometimes you have to raise taxes. The problem with this is that it's specifically a "Kennywood tax." Of the money going to the amusement tax fund, an overwhelming majority of it comes from the park.
Kennywood isn't the reason that the city is in financial distress, so why single them out? If they need to raise an extra $500,000 why make Kennywood shoulder the whole burden? There are well over a thousand businesses in West Mifflin. Ever think about a $500 business privelege tax for each one? Why should Century 3 Chevy get a free ride? (No pun intended.)
It's easy to pick on the park because they can't pack up and move. It's as simple as that. What are they really going to do? The boro says "gimme half a million more!" and you pretty much have to. It's easier dealing with Tony Soprano than the government.
Millenium Force Freak, I do live near Kennywood. Not right beside it or across the river from it, but about 45 miles south of it. I totally forgot about the mall, hotels, etc. I think I've been to Kennywood more than I have been to the Century 3 mall in the last year.
kpjb, I agree with you about the fact that Kennywood is taking the entire tax burden and it should be spread out within the entire borough, not just the park.
The Borough Council is constantly fighting about everything. It is like a brutle WWE match at those meetings. Century 3 mall appealed its property tax and lowered its value millions less than it was. It is unfair the schools take 5 percent and the borough raised their take another 5 percent to 10 percent. It is crazy. One member suggested charging admission to the council meetings because it is an amusment in itself. Oh the wacky world of West Mifflin.
yup, you are so right Lost Phantom.. when the money was good , the borrow spent unwisely and peed the money away. now that budgets are tight, They are taxing the weather and the moon light to keep afloat!!!!!!!And Kennywood ,the biggest amusement tax in the area is feeling the crunch!!! This is so unfortunate. Kennywood can only raise the price of admission so high because this park is definately regional and not a resort destination. so it looks like no new rides for a very long time.