$100 million in taxes to help amusement park, Sandusky


SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) — The parent company of one of Ohio’s major amusement parks has reached a $100-million, 20-year public investment deal with the Lake Erie city of Sandusky.

The city’s agreement with Cedar Point, which operates the Cedar Fair park, includes a new causeway, water taxi and other improvements that will be funded by an increase in city taxes on park admission and parking. Cedar Fair also agreed to maintain a corporate presence in Sandusky, although it’s unclear whether that presence includes company headquarters.

Starting in January, Sandusky will increase the city admissions tax from 4% to 8%, or about $2 more per $50 ticket at Cedar Point. An 8% parking tax will also go into effect.

The tax increases will raise $4.5 million to $5 million a year, or roughly $100 million over 20 years.

The City Commission unanimously approved the deal this week. It also calls for $1.5 million to support programing at the historic Sandusky State Theater, which is being rebuilt after major storm damage; $14 million for a new city recreation center, and money for destination development, parks, streets and safety.

Sandusky City Manager Eric Wobser said roughly half of the overall investment, including the causeway and water taxi, will benefit Cedar Point directly, while half will support the community more generally.

The current Cedar Point causeway, which opened in 1957, links the park on a 364-acre peninsula to the rest of the city.