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Proposed measure in Cincinnati could increase Bengals ticket costs

A proposition has been made for the city of Cincinnati to raise taxes on various event ticket sales to give more funds for human services agencies. Game tickets to the Cincinnati Bengals would fall into that category.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals-Minicamp Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the Cincinnati Bengals are getting creative with their ticket sales in the form of the “Jungle Pass”, there might be some increases in ticket costs in the near future.

A couple of Cincinnati City Council members have proposed a slight increase in taxes for ticket sales for certain events in the area. Tickets to games by the Cincinnati Bengals, FC Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Reds, as well as various concerts would be subject to this increase.

Per WCPO Channel 9 in Cincinnati:

Their idea – to raise the city’s admission tax from 3 to 5 percent – would generate $3.6 million each year to largely fund human services agencies.

While the tax increase would be small -- a $25 ticket would rise to $25.50 and a $100 ticket would be $102 – it would set Cincinnati apart as charging a higher ticket tax than most other Ohio cities.

Two-thirds of the places in Ohio that have an admissions tax levy the tax at a rate of 3 percent, according to the latest statewide report from the Ohio Department of Taxation. Some cities, such as Columbus, charge no tax on tickets for sporting events or concerts.

While the increase is modest, it does put a possible additional strain between the Bengals, their fans and the city. The relationship between the three parties hasn’t always been rosy—particularly when Brown pushed the city for a new venue for the Bengals in the form of Paul Brown Stadium.

Regardless, this is a proposed measure to help out the community in what seems like a very positive way.

“The majority of these new dollars — $3 million — would go to human services funding,” Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld said. “It is no exaggeration to say that the work these organizations do can literally be a matter of life or death.”

Sittenfeld also added that the possible new tax hike wouldn’t hinder new businesses entering the area and/or further development. His reasoning on this stance is an interesting one.

Essentially, the money received from this tax increase would help the area with its problems in homelessness, drug addiction and other issues. Obviously, if these facets are improved, businesses and other organizations would be more attracted to the city because of a perceived cleaner area.

The crux of this proposal comes on the heels of many calls for additional funding for these human services agencies. Cincinnati has been working on a $32 million budget deficit in 2018, while also having problems properly divvying out what current funds are being allocated to various agencies.

If they can get six more council members to approve this measure, citizens will vote for it in the upcoming November election. Sittenfeld seems to think it will pass through City Council to the voters in a few months, but a prediction on the response from the voters remains murky.