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Published: Tuesday, 11/7/2000

Maumee drops talk of imposing theater tax

Maumee city council, without much fanfare, unanimously agreed last night to end any talk of a ticket tax that had sparked a protest by area movie theaters.

Council also approved a zoning change and granted approval to a preliminary planned-unit development permit for the proposed $45 million residential development on the former Children Services campus on River Road.

The decision to scrap any further discussion of a surcharge on admission tickets to entertainment venues was made on the recommendation of Councilman Todd Zimmerman, who opposed the tax.

Council members were considering an admission tax as a way to help pay for restoration and upkeep on the Maumee Indoor Theater. The city, which bought the 1946 landmark at Anthony Wayne Trail and Conant Street, plans to renovate the building and revive it as an entertainment venue.

After the meeting, Mr. Zimmerman said council's action was not taken as a result of a petition drive conducted in National Amusements' theaters. Patrons in recent weeks have been asked to sign petitions as part of a campaign to stop Maumee from imposing the surcharge.

“We have not seen any petitions,” Mr. Zimmerman said, noting that the admission tax is a dead issue because the funding mechanism is not needed. City officials are considering several other funding sources, he said.

After council's action on the CSB project, Joseph Ballmer, a local architect who heads CSB Investors, LLC, said he is pleased with the decision that moves the project forward.

A final application will be submitted to the planning commission for a recommendation to city council for final approval. Plans call for construction of 135 units on about 32 acres of land.

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