Backers of ticket tax say it’s needed to keep up with city’s growth

Local News

A proposed ticket tax on some events in the city of Columbus is drawing some opposition but backers of the plan say it’s needed if Columbus wants to keep up with expected growth in the city. 

Under the plan being proposed by the Greater Columbus Arts Council, cultural events, movie tickets and pro-sporting events in the city would be taxed. 

“The basics of the plan is a 7% ticket fee is a fee on arts, culture, sports and entertainment in the city of Columbus,” said Tom Katzenmeyer, CEO of the Greater Columbus Arts Council 

Katzenmeyer said sporting events like those played at Nationwide Arena and Mapfree stadium are included. 

Not high school sports. 

And not College sports. 

“So all non-profit arts and culture would be included. That’s like going to COSI, Franklin Park Conservatory, Columbus Museum of Art, Balletmet, any performance at a CAPA house downtown, movie theaters again all just in the city of Columbus,” he said.

Dan Mccormick with the group Advocates for responsible taxation said his group’s against the added cost to arts patrons and the plan to send 30% of the funds raised back to Nationwide Arena where some of the pro sporting event tickets will include the 7% tax.

“They looked at this and they saw it as egregious attack on the pocketbook of the taxpayers for another arena bailout,” said McCormick.

NBC4 asked Katzenmeyer if the plan is a bailout for Nationwide Arena as McCormick suggested. 

“I would firmly tell you that 70-percent of the money being raised under this proposal is going to come back to the arts and culture sector,” said Katzenmeyer.

As for the ticket tax among ticket buyers in general, resident Kim Taylor said she’s against it. 

“I think we pay enough taxes right now and just the price of going to the games and the different concerts and things. I just feel like that’s enough and enough is enough,” she said. 

Justin Weaver, who also lives in Columbus, said he’s in favor of the ticket tax.

“As long as it’s going back to the community I wouldn’t have a problem paying a little bit more. I mean it helps renovations or anything and helps the arts helps the community so yeah I would say it’s pretty good,” he said. 

But McCormick said he’s not buying it and neither should anyone else.

“When you’re going out and spending 100-dollars on tickets at the symphony or tickets to go see Aladdin for a family that makes a big difference,” said McCormick. 

The Arts Council hoped to have the proposal to Columbus City Council sometime in September. 

There will be an opportunity for public input before anything is discussed or decided. 

The Greater Columbus Arts Council will host the 3rd of its own public meetings on the ticket tax on Tuesday August 28th at 2330 Airport Drive in Columbus. 

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