Columbus City Council has voted to implement two five-per cent ticket taxes to support improvements to Nationwide Arena.
According to the Columbus Dispatch newspaper, Council President Shannon Hardin called the ticket taxes “a fair plan, a bold plan, a realistic plan.”
The first tax will be on performances and sporting events costing more than $10 a ticket at venues with more than 400 seats, not including Nationwide Arena, with the goal of raising $6m for arts groups through the Greater Columbus Arts Council.
The second five per cent tax will generate an estimated $2.4m for arena repairs and $600,000 for the arts. Local sports agent Bret Adams said his group of opponents proposed an amendment with all the money raised at arena events going to the arena, but the city council rejected that.
The taxes would begin to be collected on July 1, 2019.
However, tickets for Ohio State college sporting events will not be taxed and the university has pledged $1m a year to local arts groups.
Mike Priest, president of NHL ice hockey franchise the Columbus Blue Jackets, who play at Nationwide Arena, supported the five per cent tax for the team’s home stadium events because he said it would go toward capital expenses needed at the arena and is less than the seven per cent tax the team opposed.