Sales tax proposal concerns Randolph fair board

By Mike sever | staff writer Published:

Like others around Ohio, the Portage County Fair Board is wondering what effect Gov. John Kasich's proposal to include sales tax on fairs and other events will have on their annual event.

The governor's plan is to have dozens of previously exempt activities and services, including county fairs, pay a 5 percent sales tax. The board will have its first opportunity to discuss the issue when it meets Wednesday.

Board president Charles Breiding said he's concerned that smaller, less financially stable fairs could be hit hard by the sales tax on entertainment admissions, if it is OK'd by the state Legislature.

"I'm sure it would put them in a tremendous bind or put them out of business," Breiding said.

He said he's concerned a sales tax would raise ticket prices and put a damper on attendance. The fair's general admission price of $5 would go up 25 cents and prices would rise on season passes and grandstand admission as well.

It would be multiple taxes if a family rides any of the amusement rides and then takes in a grandstand event like the demolition derby or a concert, Breiding said.

"It would definitely hurt us," he said. "It's just going to trickle down to anything that happens."

Currently, the state sales tax law exempts fairs, churches and other nonprofits from collecting sales tax if their sales events total no more than six days in a calendar year. There's no word on whether the governor's sales tax proposal would change that.

If a vendor has no seating for customers, food would continue to be not taxable, according to information provided by Gary Gudmundson of the Ohio Department of Taxation.

The governor's proposal could also cause prices for entertainers to go up as performers would have to charge and collect a tax for their services.

Breiding said he's concerned if the admission gates have to handle coins in change.

"That will slow down everything that comes into that fair. The lines will be longer, people will be upset," he said.

Breiding said he plans to talk directly with local state legislators Rep. Kathleen Clyde and Sen. John Eklund about their concerns.

"We're looking at taxing every bit of entertainment. It would definitely be something that would hurt our fair financially," he said.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1125 or msever@recordpub.com

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  • No more dam taxes of any kind for any reason. If you can not afford it get along with out it. That is what the people have to do.

  • Really zohdee? The perks of having a brain allow me to think of alternatives to avoiding situations I do not like being in. Let me share two of my thoughts with you about your line problem, prepare your coffee at home. There's even automated coffee makers that you can set and have your coffee ready to go when you want it. Also there are plenty of drive thru spots to pick up your morning coffee. Lack of basic problem solving is obviously a big problem with your type. And again I think you're just making up stories as you go along.

  • Sorry, can't get coffee at the pump. That is one of the perks the employed get.

  • Tagg I was thinking the same thing about standing in line at the gas station. Pay at the pump, duh.

  • zohdee seriously, if you are so sick and tired of standing behind people using welfare cards a the gas station, why not pay at the pump? Let me answer that question for you, you're a conservative and prefer to whine like a child. Most likely your gas station story is an absolute lie. Deceit runs rampant among you conservative types. You suggest targeting and raising taxes on those collecting welfare. Gee, I don't understand why you loud mouth hypocritical conservatives are so hated. (sarcasm) America is sick and tired of the republican rhetoric. Just like zohdee's personal problem of standing in line behind someone at the gas station, the problem can easily be solved, but they prefer to make a federal case out of every little insignificant thing they can find to whine about. I have no worries, karma is taking care of them. :)

  • What they need to do is tax all items bought with foodstamps at convenience stores. Leave the fairs alone and tax the welfare slugs. Seriously, I am sick and tired of standing in line behind some welfare person paying for donuts when I am trying to get to work and paying for fuel. No soda on SNAP unless they pay the tax. They should be required to pay the tax on their utilities...I do so should they. I am sick an tired of paying for the habitual welfare slug.

  • Charge a quarter to park.