California doesn't vote on amusement tax ordinance
By Chris Buckley
Published: Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, 12:21 a.m.
Students and an official from California University of Pennsylvania urged borough council to vote down a proposed amusement tax ordinance this week.
In the end Thursday, the matter never came up for a vote.
The proposal would enact a 10 percent tax on a long list of amusement-related activities for which admission fees are charged.
It would include such events as theatrical performances, concerts, trade shows, craft shows, art shows and sporting events.
Under Ordinance 536, the following would not be subject to the tax: admissions to motion picture theaters; events at which the majority of participants are younger than 18; and activities that constitute a public charity or are exempted from tax liability in the Local Tax Enabling Act.
Craig Butzine, Cal U vice president for marketing and university relations, told council he chose to speak about “the moral issues of this unfair, targeted tax.”
“In some municipalities, an amusement tax has been enacted because there is an entertainment venue operating with no ‘in lieu of tax' payments being made to the municipality to cover any impact the venue may have on municipal operating costs,” Butzine said.
“That is not the case with California University of Pennsylvania and the Borough of California. The university has made significant ‘in lieu of tax' payments to the borough on a consistent basis.
“I urge the borough council to vote Ordinance 536 down, and to join the university in working together to improve our total community — both for the lifelong residents living here and for the many students who chose to be a part of California University and the California borough. Work with them, not against them.”
Butzine said the tax would have been passed on to students every time they purchase tickets for such things as athletic events, concerts, comedy nights, and theatrical performances.
Students told council they live in California and contribute to the borough through such service projects as Relay for Life, The Big Event and Greek service work, and by supporting local businesses.
Graduate student Autumn Harris reminded council that most university events are open to the public, so community members also would be paying higher ticket prices.
“I am a proud student of the university and currently involved in numerous clubs and organizations, including the (Student Association Inc.) board of directors,” student government member Chelsea Getsy said.
“These wonderful assets to my college experience allow me to explore beyond the 15 hours a week I spend inside the classroom. Through them, I have grown from a student to a student leader; from a citizen to a volunteer; from a friend to a mentor; and from a fellow resident to an advocate.
“This tax would be detrimental to our already tight budgets, astonishingly painful to our student activities board, and infinitely damaging to every citizen ... by taking away the opportunity for some to attend amusement events as a family.
“We are the future. We, as a community, are the future. Why place a burden on the future?”
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Photo gallery: Ringgold High School students stage ‘Tarzan: The Stage Musical’
- Area landfill fined
- Belle Vernon students show grasp of history
- Brownsville alum to discuss Battle of Gettysburg’s impact on townspeople
- St. Molokai parish ruling imminent
- New Eagle dance on as scheduled; ‘Porky’ Chedwick tribute in works
- Mon Valley fire companies scramble to raise cash, blame casinos
- Cal U offers military personnel, families discounted online rates
- Yough Middle School Science Fair continues to grow after 9 years
- Washington Co. needs poll workers
- Charges mounting in Monessen drug case