The operators of Bartle Hall in Kansas City, Mo., an RV retail show venue, have raised their sales tax, although the increase does not apply to the sale of RVs themselves, the Associated Press reports.
However, the 1-cent sales tax increase now will be applied to the cost of tickets to events in the arena and on sales of RV accessories during shows in Bartle Hall.
Proceeds from the tax increase will help pay for parking garages being built near Bartle and a planned performing arts center. Supporters of the tax say it is a modest one that will not hurt sales at Bartle and will help show planners by supporting downtown parking. They said they did not know how much money the tax would raise.
The tax affects more than 1,000 businesses, said Pat Riha, who produces the RV and boat shows at Bartle. She said it also increases the tax on more than 200,000 tickets sold to the Bartle consumer shows and concerts at Municipal Auditorium, and the tax on large catered functions.
“None of the businesses to my knowledge were notified of the ordinance’s implications,” Riha wrote to Charles Renner, attorney for PAC Holding Inc., the nonprofit corporation that owns the land on which the arena is located. “I find the way in which this ordinance was represented to the City Council and the public unconscionable.”
The producer of the annual Sportshow at Bartle also is upset.
“It’s a huge deal. It’s monumental,” said Dave Perkins, president of Minneapolis-based General Sports Show Inc. “I’m a supporter of Kansas City, but I’m not a supporter of the tax. I hope they will rethink this.”
Nonprofit organizations are exempt from the tax.
The 1-cent increase raises the sales tax at Bartle to 8.35 percent, the sixth highest in Missouri, according to the state’s Department of Revenue.
Some show producers said they would stay at Bartle despite being unhappy with the tax increase.
“I don’t like an increase in sales tax of that magnitude, but I just have to live with it,” said Bill Morrison, executive vice president of the Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Kansas City, which produces the auto show. “Any sales tax that goes up that much has got to get people’s attention.”