SBD/May 20, 2011/Facilities

County Commissioner Proposes Ticket Tax To Pay For Cincy Stadiums

Proposed tax plan could add $14 to a Bengals ticket, $0.44 to Reds ticket
Hamilton County (Ohio) Commissioner Todd Portune “wants voters to approve a new ticket tax this fall” to "pay for the operation" of Paul Brown Stadium and Great American Ball Park, according to Sharon Coolidge of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. Portune said that he is “not sure yet how big the tax would be, or whether it would be only on Reds and Bengals tickets or all events at the two stadiums.” The tax “could add $14 to the price of a Bengals ticket” and $0.44 to the price of a Reds ticket. Under the Bengals' and Reds' leases, any ticket surcharge “must be approved by the teams.” A Reds spokesperson said that the team “would consider the proposal once it was presented.” The Bengals “could not be reached for comment, but the team has repeatedly told the county it doesn't want to raise ticket prices.” Portune said, "I've been watching the NFL fighting over $9 billion of profit every year and thinking it's crazy ... for taxpayers to have to subsidize any of their expenses. An admissions tax is a user fee. It's those who use the stadiums paying for the stadiums." The City of Cincinnati “already imposes a 3 percent admissions tax, levied on sports games, concerts, dances and plays.” The deadline to “put an issue on the November ballot is Aug. 10” (CINCINATTI ENQUIRER, 5/19).
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