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Kings Island to Host "Tax Tailgate" Before Admission Tax Vote This Monday

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Kings Island will be hosting a Tailgate Party on Monday, Feb 8th, before the Mason City Council meeting which will determine if Kings Island and The Beach's patrons will be taxed on admission and parking.

Where: Kings Island's International Restaurant

What: Rally before the big tax vote. Snacks and refreshments provided.

When: Tax Tailgate will be from 5:30 to 6:30 and the Mason Council Meeting will begin at 7:00.

The Tax Tailgate is complementary and everyone is encouraged to attend both it and the council meeting.

The lowdown:

Former Mason mayor Tom Grossmann and councilman Tony Bradburn's plan to slap a 3-percent admission and 5-percent parking tax on visitors to Kings Island and the Beach Water Park goes to a vote at the February 8 Mason City Council meeting. The public is invited to attend.

Both Kings Island and The Beach object to this tax plan. In the November 2009 Kings Island Newsletter, the park laid out likely consequences if this tax is passed. This includes information about how the tax is bad for all local businesses. Not only the parks, but local hotels and restaurants would also carry the burden of this tax. Additionally, it would affect the park by being a serious blow to ticket sales. This will result in future capital expenditure cuts and benefit cuts for employees.

They also added that when Kings Island was annexed into Mason in 1997, they were assured that there would be no admissions tax in the future. Bradburn counters claiming that they are not legally bound by these terms. When this issue was initially debated during a council meeting in late November, many representatives from local businesses questioned the credibility of the city as a result of this argument.

In many publications, including the Ohio News Network,it is stated that the nearly $2 million that this tax will generate annually would go towards necessary road improvements near Kings Island. Nearly ever article about the tax quotes Councilman Tony Bradburn.

Source: http://www.10tv.com/live/content/onnnews/stories/2009/11/11/Admission_Tax_Proposal.html?sid=102

Critics question the true motives of this tax. The 2006 Mason State of the City report states the following:

"Mason will also start a justification study this year for a full interchange at I-71 and Western Row Road. We will be working with the Warren County Engineer on this study, which will include the Kings Mills exit. Construction is still a number of years out. City Council saw the merits of a full interchange at this location and established a TIF (Tax Increment Financing district) a few years ago in order to earmark funds to go towards this interchange."

Source: http://www.imaginemason.org/home.php?ID=475

Since the last meeting in which this issue was discussed, there has been a term change in council - adding an element of mystery to how each member intends to vote.

The most notable of these changes is the election of a new mayor. Don Price, who sat on the council in November, now occupies the highest seat on it. Running on an anti-tax platform, his political philosophy states that all people who pay taxes are over-taxed. Although his political philosophy has been removed from his web site after it was cited at the meeting in November, it stated:

"All taxpayers in this nation are over-taxed. When considering federal, state, and local income tax, social security tax, medicare tax, real estate taxes, personal property tax, licensing and registration fees of all sorts, it becomes clear that we are over-taxed. Government needs to listen to the taxpayer more and to the bureaucracy less. Taking of one’s wealth is taking a measure of their freedom."

Source: KeepDonPrince.com (November 2009) Now offline

Regardless of the fact that this political platform - the platform in which he was elected - was removed from the public eye, Mayor Prince was elected on this platform. The citizens of Mason read and agreed with his words. On February 8th, we will find out if Don Prince agrees with his own words.

The future of our wonderful park will be determined on February 8th when the Mason City Council determines whether or not to pass this tax. It is incredibly vital for you, the KICentral Universe, to make a difference once again.

What can you do? Be there!

When: Feb 8, 2010, protest assembly begins at 5:00pm and council meeting begins at 7:00

Where: 4000 Mason-Montgomery Rd. Mason, OH 45040

What: We will begin our peaceful assembly at 5:00. Feel free to bring as many people as you can. Remember that what you are doing is important and will make a difference. anyone wishes to prepare a statement to present to council at the meeting has that right.

Will Mason vote yes as a way to recoup its mismanagement of funds, or will they show they truly care about the welfare of their business partners and vote not to impose an admissions tax? Be there February 8 and find out.

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I took that day off work and I will be there-if this thing passes, I am 99% sure my summer job at the park won't be there. Round 2.....

I am still steamed that they could not define a plan for the tax funds-fiscal responsibility and accountability has become a major issue in this country, including our local representatives. As far as the interchange, I see nothing wrong with the way it is now-leave it alone!!

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As far as the interchange goes, the point of a re-design is to alleviate the two intersections that are within close proximity of each other. (Columbia Road and Kings Island Drive both intersect Western Row road within close proximity. The closeness of these two intersections often results in frequent back ups during rush hour. Especially since the employee entrance to KI is at the Columbia road intersection. Actually, ODOT is also looking at the design of the exit and entrance ramps there. They are also looking at redesigning the exit ramps at Mason Montgomery/Fields Ertel Road to the south of Kings Island, which also get backed up on almost a daily basis as well.

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As far as the interchange goes, the point of a re-design is to alleviate the two intersections that are within close proximity of each other. (Columbia Road and Kings Island Drive both intersect Western Row road within close proximity. The closeness of these two intersections often results in frequent back ups during rush hour. Especially since the employee entrance to KI is at the Columbia road intersection. Actually, ODOT is also looking at the design of the exit and entrance ramps there. They are also looking at redesigning the exit ramps at Mason Montgomery/Fields Ertel Road to the south of Kings Island, which also get backed up on almost a daily basis as well.

Fields Ertel is much worse than KI-I drive that way almost every night and it starts backing up on 275. I have hit fields ertel from all directions and no matter what, its always bumper to bumper-to the point I don't patronize those businesses around there. I still think they need to leave columbia and western row alone. In fact, once I pass fields ertel, I can lay the hammer down.

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The big hang up as far as the KI employee entrance is there is not a left turn signal off of Western Row. There is a turn signal in each direction except for going into KI employee entrance. It only takes a few cars going west bound to hender trafic and why Mason does not activate the left turn signal is beyond me. But I am sure they will state some traffic study as to why not. When the left turn off of KI Drive is on, have the left turn off of Western Row on.

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Kings Island tax vote Monday, new amendment recommended

But, Bradburn did recommend an amendment to the tax, that would give Mason residents a credit if they go to the park.

"They will be allowed up to a $25 credit for admissions tax and parking tax also," Bradburn said.

http://www.wxix.com/Global/story.asp?S=11943299

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Disgusting. I live here, but may not always live here-as a resident, and as a person who probably won't live here forever, the tax is bad either way. As usual, our representatives are not being fiscally responsible. I think they need to "table" this idea-permanently. A handshake is a handshake.

I am a little person-but if this passes, I am leaving Mason. I will not live in a town that does not keep its word. They work for us, period.

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Yeah that's a slap in the face in my mind. As the key point here is that tourism is such an immense part of the business in Mason, it seems like they should realize that Mason residents aren't the people that will be hurt the most. Not to mention, it feels like one of those situations where Mason residents would get their credit, and then laugh at the "lowly" other people that have to pay the higher costs with the tax. Bogus.

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It sounds like Mason's city council is gambling with the idea that once you've driven yourself (and others) a fair distance for a fun day at the amusement park, you won't turn around and go home because of this tax.

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Yeah that's a slap in the face in my mind. As the key point here is that tourism is such an immense part of the business in Mason, it seems like they should realize that Mason residents aren't the people that will be hurt the most. Not to mention, it feels like one of those situations where Mason residents would get their credit, and then laugh at the "lowly" other people that have to pay the higher costs with the tax. Bogus.

Exactly. That mentality is the problem. Not to punish the park, but I wouldn't think twice about protesting the tax by turning around....I have done it on other trips with surprise costs, even long distances. I am that way :)

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Kings Island tax vote Monday, new amendment recommended

But, Bradburn did recommend an amendment to the tax, that would give Mason residents a credit if they go to the park.

"They will be allowed up to a $25 credit for admissions tax and parking tax also," Bradburn said.

http://www.wxix.com/....asp?S=11943299

As a Mason resident, I personally believe this makes a BAD idea even WORSE. Why? Because it proves to me that this is nothing but a blatant attempt to extract money from tourists and visitors. If we need road improvements so bad, then we as residents should pay for them.

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...A residential tax break does not soften Kings Island's opposition to the issue, according to Greg Scheid, the amusement park's vice president and general manager.

"This is the first I've heard about it," Scheid said Thursday afternoon. "We're being thrown a new curve ball so I want to see what the ordinance says ... get a good feel for it."

The proposed admissions tax would significantly hurt group sales at Kings Island, something that park officials have voiced concerns about from the start, Scheid said....

http://www.daytondai...sal-532314.html

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Ok.. so here's a wild idea. Let's have the City of Cincinnati put a tax in place for all non-residents that would make them pay more for all entertainment and city fees, such as Bengals/Reds tickets, museum tickets, alcohol prices, and parking rates. I'd love to see Mr. Bradburn's reaction to that.

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Ugh. I hate that idea! I live in Dayton and I don't wanna to be charged that would be messed up! Anyway,I really want to tailgate with you all but I can't I have school and some other personal stuff to do I'm there in spirit! I want this tax to die !

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They also added that when Kings Island was annexed into Mason in 1997, they were assured that there would be no admissions tax in the future. Bradburn counters claiming that they are not legally bound by these terms. When this issue was initially debated during a council meeting in late November, many representatives from local businesses questioned the credibility of the city as a result of this argument.

Does anyone remember a time when someone's word was their bond? When you could count on what someone said no matter what?

Mike B.

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I am curious is this is perhaps an attempt by Anthony Bradburn to garner more support from the local community to instill the 'it wont affect me' mentality. However, in my opinion, that again is short sighted on his part. I have to assume Mason residents in reality make up a relatively small percentage of Kings Island visitors, but this credit, legal or not would essentially make the tax a moot point to a family of four purchasing season passes or visiting the park once or twice a season which could 'hush' the locals.

I personally am not in favor of the tax, and again, I have to think there must be some hesitation from the community and perhaps even the voting members as of late - hence where this credit comes from.

I know a common trend in this online community is always being 'right' and arguing your point of view ad nauseum. Sometimes its constructive, sometimes a little less and then of course there are the few times where you just scratch your head :) . Those that are taken seriously think before they speak. So to all those that will be in attendance tomorrow I think it is a wonderful opportunity to participate in democracy by speaking up against something you think is unnecessary and unfair. My hope tomorrow, is that those that are given the opportunity to speak, even for just a minute take the opportunity to speak intelligently and respectfully. Don't think your opinion doesn't matter because it does, it is the reason meetings such as these are open to the public.

So - regardless of how it turns out tomorrow evening - be safe, and be professional - and above all remember you ultimately represent yourself.

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I am curious is this is perhaps an attempt by Anthony Bradburn to garner more support from the local community to instill the 'it wont affect me' mentality. However, in my opinion, that again is short sighted on his part. I have to assume Mason residents in reality make up a relatively small percentage of Kings Island visitors, but this credit, legal or not would essentially make the tax a moot point to a family of four purchasing season passes or visiting the park once or twice a season which could 'hush' the locals.

I personally am not in favor of the tax, and again, I have to think there must be some hesitation from the community and perhaps even the voting members as of late - hence where this credit comes from.

I know a common trend in this online community is always being 'right' and arguing your point of view ad nauseum. Sometimes its constructive, sometimes a little less and then of course there are the few times where you just scratch your head :) . Those that are taken seriously think before they speak. So to all those that will be in attendance tomorrow I think it is a wonderful opportunity to participate in democracy by speaking out up against something you think is unnecessary and unfair. My hope tomorrow, is that those that are given the opportunity to speak, even for just a minute take the opportunity to speak intelligently and respectfully. Don't think your opinion doesn't matter because it does, it is the reason meetings such as these are open to the public.

So - regardless of how it turns out tomorrow evening - be safe, and be professional - above all, you represent yourself.

Wonderful post.

I also want to add that what you're going to be doing IS important and it CAN make a difference. It's not just for Kings Island, it's for the whole area.

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