Admissions tax revenues wouldn't go up in better economy

A proposal to bring a minor league baseball team to Vancouver will likely hinge on the willingness of the Clark County commissioners to support a 5 percent admissions tax.

The Vancouver City Council will also have to agree to go along with the tax to satisfy backers of the bonds that would be issued for a stadium at Clark College.

As this email from Clark County budget analyst Adriana Prata to Administrator Bill Barron and Deputy Treasurer John Payne shows, her estimate that the tax would bring in $965,000 a year isn’t expected to go up if the economy recovers.

From: Prata, Adriana

Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 12:17 PM

To: Payne, John; Barron, Bill

Cc: Potter, Bronson; Gassaway, Mark; Frueh, Larry

Subject: FW: baseball

Attachments: historical revenues. xis


Stephanie Rice has been requesting the final revenue estimate for the last three days, Bronson directed her to me on Monday and I told her we would finalize the estimates in a few days. What do I respond today?

Also, to the team: I have just received the historical revenue data for counties and cities statewide. Please see the attached spreadsheet, a workbook has the counties and the other has the cities. The city revenues are very stable – basically they stayed the same for the past ten years. Note that only 8% of the statewide revenues are county, the cities have 92% of collected revenues. Thus, we expect our annual revenue estimate to stay the
same in future years – it won’t go up when the economy recovers.

This holds true when one observes trends in the movie industry – per capita admissions to movies have been declining for the past ten years, and there is not much difference between admissions per capita during the good economic years (4.4 admissions per capita) vs. recession years (4.1-4.2 admissions per capita). The county revenues (only 8% of statewide revenues) look volatile because of a dramatic decrease in King County revenues in 2009 (I will make some calls to find out why).

So bottom line, revenues are stable but not likely to grow much from the current estimate.

Adriana Prata

Clark County Office of Budget

1300 Franklin St., Vancouver, WA 98666-5000

Phone: 360-397-6097

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