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5% entertainment tax in Maumee mulled to cut deficit

As the city of Maumee continues to work toward reducing, and ultimately eliminating, its operating budget deficit, movie fans will have to wait a little longer to find out if they will be charged more for their tickets.

Mayor Timothy Wagener's request for council to implement a 5 percent surcharge, or admissions tax, on some types of entertainment has been sent to the code committee for review.

Mr. Wagener estimates the admissions tax would raise $500,000 per year. If council agrees to the admissions tax in the next couple of weeks, the goal is to implement the tax on July 1 this year, and the city could realize $250,000 in 2010 and then $500,000 annually after that, based on data received from communities with similar numbers of cinema screens.

At a 5 percent rate, the Maumee Indoor Theater price per ticket would increase by between 7.5 cents and 17.5 cents, depending on the day, and the National Amusements prices would increase by 30 cents to 58.75 cents, depending on the day and time, according to information provided to council by Linda Wilker, acting finance director.

Mayor Wagener said, the admissions tax would apply to for-profit entertainment events, and would not impact events sponsored by churches, schools, civic groups, or other nonprofit organizations.

When Richard Carr, council president, asked the mayor why he was proposing a 5 percent admissions tax, Mr. Wagener said 3 percent wouldn't generate enough revenue and 8 percent would be too high.

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