Entertainment biz owners worried about Ohio's tax plan

11:51 PM, Feb 19, 2013   |    comments
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PORTAGE COUNTY, Ohio -- Gov. John Kasich's plan to expand Ohio's sales tax might take some of the fun out of going to concerts, football games, and amusement parks.

Kasich wants to cut the overall sales tax rate, while also applying the lower 5 percent tax on new items like bowling alleys, haircuts, even funeral services.

The question facing Ohio's entertainment and sports operators is whether they would pass the costs onto ticket buyers and customers if lawmakers approve the plan.

In Portage County, Bill White estimates that he'd have to pass the increased tax burden on to his customers.

"It takes away our bottom line, if we have one. Everything we have here is going to be taxed," said Mr. White. 

White is the owner of Bill White's Twin Star Lanes in Kent, plus two other bowling alleys in Akron and Toledo.

Any night of the week, the establishment is packed with regular customers and bowling leagues.

"You get to the point where we can't afford to do this anymore, and it's going to put these places out [of business]," said Michael Horner, a regular bowler.

Bill White is a member of the Bowling Proprietors Association.  The group has enlisted a lobbyist to address the concerns of entertainment business owners in Columbus.


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