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Council Approves Ticket Taxes for Arts Funding, Capital Improvements to Publicly Funded Buildings

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega Council Approves Ticket Taxes for Arts Funding, Capital Improvements to Publicly Funded Buildings
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Columbus City Council unanimously voted to implement two 5 percent taxes to support arts funding and improvements for Nationwide Arena and other cultural institutions.

The Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) submitted a ticket tax proposal on Sept. 17; after several months of public input, council has created the Stability Fund and the Creativity Fund.

Council put out their original counter-proposal in November. Since then, they’ve exempted fundraisers by non-profit organizations, as otherwise would be not be “consistent with the spirit of this ordinance,” said Council President Shannon Hardin at council’s meeting on Monday, Dec. 10.

The Creativity Fund is expected to nearly double the resources available to local artists, arts groups and festivals through grants from GCAC. The Stability Fund will be divided into two revenue streams, one for improvements and ongoing maintenance of the Arena (80 percent), the other to benefit other publicly funded facilities, such as COSI, the King Arts Complex, the Lincoln Theatre, and Franklin Park Conservatory (20 percent).

“I believe this is a fair plan, a bold plan, and a realistic plan,” Hardin said.

Council approved the measures 6-0, with Councilmember Elizabeth Brown abstaining. Her father-in-law, Tom Katzenmeyer, is the President and CEO of GCAC.

The fees will go into effect on July 1, 2019.

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