FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now)–The County Executive is proposing a 10% amusement tax increase for next year’s budget which some say could hurt small businesses trying to provide an outlet for families.
“This tax coupled with that we’re looking at about a 25-30% loss in revenue. I don’t know what business can sustain that type of loss so we’re looking at a rough 2024 if this bill passes,” Marketing Manager for Tree Trekkers Ashley Schweinhart said.
Schweinhart said she wasn’t contacted and learned about the proposed tax on the radio.
As to the reason for implementing the “Amusement Tax” Frederick County Executive Jessica Fitzwater said the revenue collected would go toward supporting the arts, innovation and a creative economy.
Fitzwater pointed out that the county enjoys more than 2,000,000 visitors each year. She also said the amusement tax evens the playing field for similar businesses.
For example a 1% amusement tax is already in place as a cover charge for venues offering entertainment.
The amusement park owners are not the only ones concerned.
Frederick resident Samantha Karch said she’s concerned over the potential cost.
“As I have off some weekends me and my friends like to come out to places like this and have fun,” Karch said. “Now since it’s going to be costing even extra that sucks. We’re going to have to travel even further to afford just having fun.”
So does Payton Steele.
“If this tax passes then we will see less and less of the young people coming out because their families will have to pay for other things other than amusement and entertainment,” Steele said.
It might be a struggle for her and other small businesses, especially if the economy gets worse, Schweinhart said.
“We’re seeing a receding economy, and we’re also seeing inflation rates that we haven’t seen in a lifetime and our country’s answer to that is to make family recreation 10% more expensive,” Schweinhart said.
The council is expected to meet on Tuesday, May 23, to vote to repeal past legislation in order to make way for the new proposed tax legislation.