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Fire Hawk at Kings Island. Image © 2009 Kings Island

Kings Island is again asking visitors to help it fight a proposed new tax on park admission tickets and parking fees.

A previous vote on the tax was delayed until February 8 at a meeting of Mason City Council last November, after dozens of people attended to speak out against it.

The new tax would introduce a 3% levy on admissions and add 5% to parking fees. Kings Island has been vocal in its opposition to the tax, claiming it will have no choice but to put up prices for the 2010 season if it is introduced.

Based on current prices, the taxes would see a family of four paying an additional $13.40 on parking and entry fees. The fee would also apply to season passes, adding $19.20 to the cost of a four-pack of Platinum Passes.

Kings Island is asking guests to lobby for a "no" vote from the council. Those wishing to protest can contact Mason City council by calling 513-229-8500 or via e-mail at [email protected]. It is also possible to attend the council meeting itself, which will take place in the Mason City Building at 7pm on Monday, February 8.

The park is also organising a "Tax Vote Tailgate Party" prior to the council meeting, and will be laying on complimentary food and soft drinks at its International Restaurant. The party will take place from 5.30-6.30pm, after which the park hopes attendees will head down to the council meeting.

Kings Island has accused Mason City councilman Tony Bradburn of proposing it without the knowledge of the park or its visitors. It says that corporate clients are unable to commit to events at the park until the tax issue has been dedicated. The park also claims that any decrease in attendance as a result of the tax would force it and other local amusement operators to cut seasonal jobs.

For his part, Bradburn claims that the tax is needed to pay for the cost of services (such a fire and police protection) needed to support the large numbers of people Kings Island brings into the city. He also claims that Kings Island had been involved in private conversations around the tax before the proposal was announced - though the park denies this.

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