Theater, city consider ticket surcharge plan

Published 3:00 am Saturday, April 29, 2017

During their executive committee meeting Tuesday the Troy City Council discussed the possibility of a “voluntary tax” to help Continental Cinemas fund an expansion.

The surcharge would potentially be added to the ticket prices, be collected by the city and remitted back to the theater.

Continental owner Chase Taylor said the tax would be collected by the city and the theater would get 100 percent of that back.

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“So if the city collects a dollar, we’ll get all of that back,” Taylor said. “We’re raising prices with this renovation anyway and this will go to that. There are other theaters in smaller cities like this that do this as well. It’s a way the city can help things move along.”

Councilmembers pointed to an ordinance put in place by the City of Greenville in 2007 to help local theaters as an example of what the ordinance might look like.

In that case, Greenville passed a $1 tax to be assessed on movie ticket sales and then entered a project agreement with the local theater to return the tax completely each month for the first seven years the theater was open.

After those first seven years were up, the city would get 25 percent of the tax and return the other 75 percent to the theater. The agreement also included a sales tax rebate on ticket sales and concessions.

Although that ordinance is an example of the sort of surcharge the city is considering, Mayor Jason Reeves said the city’s ordinance would not necessarily be exactly the same.

Taylor and city officials said they will give more information once the ordinance’s language has been drafted. Taylor expects to speak more to the council about the option at the next council meeting, which will be held Tuesday, May 9, at City Hall.

The executive committee will meet upstairs at 4 p.m. and the council will meet in the city council chambers at 5 p.m.