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Volume 26 No. 203
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Ticket Taxes In Columbus Falling Short Of Annual Projections

The city of Columbus' two ticket taxes are "on track to net far less than what was estimated for arts programs and to help maintain Nationwide Arena" after four full months of collections (July-October), according to Bill Bush of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH. Previous projections showing collections raising $9M a year were "wildly optimistic," as the city is "on track to net less than 25% of the annual estimates." One of the taxes "applies to tickets of more than $10 for performances and sporting events at venues with more than 400 seats -- not including Nationwide Arena" -- and was "projected to raise" $6M annually for the city's arts council. The second tax is on tickets for events at the publicly owned and operated Nationwide Arena, and was "expected to raise" $3M a year. That tax is "on track to raise only about 11.5%" of its annual projection. Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority Exec Dir Don Brown called the collections "underwhelming" thus far. Bush noted the authority was "expecting to collect" $2.4M a year toward "arena facility maintenance, but it is on track to get only about $276,000." The city auditor's office last week "acknowledged having problems collecting the taxes" from vendors on the secondary ticket market. The tax legislation has "no penalty that could be applied to vendors who fail to pay" what Columbus is owed (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 12/1).