Westfall Township, Pike County - A Pocono community will soon charge a tax on amusement activities. Supervisors in Westfall Township, Pike County passed an amusement tax law Tuesday night.
Township Supervisors say the 1% tax will bring in much needed money. They expect it to mostly impact tourists who visit the region for fun. But business owners say it will hurt them.
Dawn Johns owns Have a Hoot Fun Center with her husband. She frowned, "I'm extremely disappointed that they passed it."
Johns told Eyewitness News the tax will cost her much more than 1% of her revenue. She said the new law will force her to upgrade her computer accounting software. That could cost thousands of dollars. She complained, "The cost of doing business now, especially in this economy is extremely difficult. We lowered our prices just to make it easier for more people to come in."
She's also upset that the tax is only directed at places considered "amusements." They include places like canoe outfitters. They also include plays, concerts, the circus, carnivals, fairs, dances, craft shows, sporting events, and all other forms of live entertainment.
There are a few exceptions. Those include fitness and exercise activities, movies, and bowling. Johns said, "It is only directed at a small number of businesses and I think that they didn't take into consideration the full impact of us and the tax and the actual revenue that they are gonna generate."
Many Pike County residents were also upset. Kathy Roeder complained, "I think we pay enough taxes in Pennsylvania like for your house taxes."
But others said they think it is a good way for the township to raise money. Jerry Pflanz said, "If everybody's contributing that little bit it's gonna help a lot."
The amusement tax will go into effect on January 4, 2013.