Mason council rejects amusement park tax

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

MASON, OH (FOX19)  - Mason City Council members rejected a plan to tax admission tickets and parking costs to Kings Island and Beach Waterpark amusement parks. Only one council member voted for the proposed tax.

Jesse Marchbanks said he drove 118 miles from Indianapolis to share his two cents at the Council meeting. Marchbanks said he visits Kings Island every summer with his family of four and they spend big bucks in Mason. A tradition that he says could change if the tax is passed.

He's not alone. Dozens packed two rooms at the Mason City Building on Monday night. A few people supported the tax, but an overwhelming number of people opposed it.

Local lawmakers said the 3% admissions tax and 5% parking tax would generate $2 million. Council members said the money would go towards road improvements, police and fire costs.

Kings Island General Manager Greg Scheid said the ticket tax would only scare away patrons; especially large groups. Scheid said those groups make up a third of the park's business. He added that the drop in revenue could mean some employees might lose their jobs.

"We have already had one full-time lay-off in the last year," Scheid said. "It would probably cut at least five-percent of customers from coming out. That's almost 200,000 thousand less guests than what come into the park. A major impact."

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