Submitted by Roldo on Tue, 11/24/2009 - 15:57.

The most reasonable tax for Cleveland City Council to raise income would be a special admissions tax on all events at Progressive Field, Quicken Arena, and Browns Stadium.




The reason is mainly because none of the teams pay any property taxes on their sports facilities. Not a penny.


They ride FREE.


Somehow Mayor Frank Jackson and City Council always overlook the guys at the top of the ladder. In this case, all Billionaires. How predictable.


We shall see how it makes sense.


A 10 percent added admission tax would bring in millions of new revenue. The tax would actually probably have an added benefit to sports fans. The teams would have to think twice before raising ticket prices.


So it’s likely that a major part of the cost would have to be borne by the teams and the already - if not over-paid - well paid athletes.


It would be fairer because, although the city pays the high cost of policing the sports events and takes the loss of property taxes, the fan base comes from a wide geographic area. Most likely most fans come from outside Cleveland and many outside Cuyahoga County.


They don’t share the burden of the cost of the stadiums to the city and county taxpayers. They enjoy the benefits, however.


So they should pay.


Even more to the point, the three team owners – Randy Lerner, Dan Gilbert and Larry Dolan – all come from billionaire families.


Who can afford to pay more taxes – billionaire families or an ordinary Cleveland family? It’s a trick question for the mayor and council members.


Even Mayor Jackson and Council President Marty Sweeney can figure that one out. If they want to.


If you can afford to go to games and events at these venues, built largely with government funds and advantaged with full 100 percent property tax relief, you should be willing to pay that extra charge to Cleveland.


After all, Cleveland residents feel the impact of the lost revenue from the exemption of property taxes.  Some 15 percent would go to the city for its operation.


If you look at the attendance and average ticket price at events you can get a picture of how much money this could mean for the city.


The Cleveland Cavaliers had attendance in 2008-09 of 820,439, actually down from the previous season of 839,674. At an average price cited for tickets at the arena of $50, the Cavs would have attendance income of $41,983,700.


A 10 percent added admission tax would mean income of some $4.19 million in revenue for the city.


The Cleveland Browns had 578,672 in attendance (latest figures from 2006). At an average price of $55 for football tickets, it would mean revenue income of $31.8 million.


A 10 percent added admission tax would produce $3,182,696 of income for the city.


The Cleveland Indians had 27,110 in average in attendance for 80 games for an attendance of 2,168,800. At an average price of $26 for baseball tickets here, it would mean $56,388,800 in ticket revenue.

At a 10 percent added admission tax it would produce $5,638,880 for the city.


The city would earn more than $13 million in added admission tax revenue. It would produce more revenue than a garbage tax.


It would produce such revenue in a fairer manner. It would likely keep ticket price increases smaller or nonexistent.


The market will bear just so much, although sports fans seem to be unthinking consumers, paying more and more even though the teams reap huge amounts of money from television and radio and other sources. The NFL teams, for example, share some $100,000,000 (yes the zeros are correct) in revenue from broadcast and other sales of team products.


If you charged the 10 percent for ALL events at these tax-subsidized, property tax evaders, the city would earn even more money.


Doesn’t this make more sense and isn’t this fairer than taxing garbage?


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The problem is one of consistency

The primary concern with this idea is that the tax revenue would be both highly variable and unpredictable. The elasticity of demand for professional sporting events is driven primarily by the quality of the team. The Cavs today can ask $50 per ticket and sell out many games because they are very good. The Cavs circa 2002 could barely give tickets away. In good years the city could wind up with a windfall, in bad years they could wind up with a deficit, and they would have virtually no control over that.

Michigain is considering a

Michigain is considering a state sales tax on all tickets...6%