As early as May, York City could begin taxing baseball fans, ice skaters, concertgoers and anyone else who buys a ticket to fun in York City.

This year, for the first time, the so-called admissions tax might require venues such as Sovereign Bank Stadium and the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center to add a 5 percent tax to the tickets they sell.

The city's 2013 budget, approved in December by the York City Council, projects $150,000 in revenue from the tax.

For the next few months, city administrators will be working to identify which venues will be affected by the tax and establishing collection reporting forms and a schedule, according to city business administrator Michael O'Rourke.

Though a law authorizing the so-called admissions tax has been on York City books for many years, only recently have officials considered it a potential revenue generator for the cash-strapped city.

The tax re-emerged as a topic of discussion several years ago, when an Early Intervention Program report recommended it as a revenue generator, but its implementation was delayed because of ambiguities in the law.

Who's affected? In addition to the Strand and stadium, the York City Ice Arena, the roller rink and any bar that charges a cover at the door are likely to be affected, O'Rourke said.

O'Rourke said city officials plan to meet with managers of the largest venues before the tax goes into effect. Part of the discussion would be about ways to minimize the administrative burden of collecting the tax, he added.


For the York Revolution, the baseball team that plays at Sovereign Bank Stadium, it's too early to say how burdensome the tax may be, said Eric Menzer, the team's president and general manager.

Menzer, a former director of economic development for York City, said he's waiting to hear from the city directly before forming an opinion.

"Obviously, I've got a concern any time somebody proposes to do something that would affect our business," he said. "I recognize the incredibly difficult job that the city has in balancing its books."

Ken Wesler, CEO of the Strand, said he's also waiting to hear from the city before forming an opinion on the tax plan.

"Until I hear something, I just don't know," he said.

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