City to implement 5 percent amusement tax

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- We can expect to pay more for a night out on the town in Rockford. This comes as the city plans to implement a 5 percent amusement tax.

Mike Dole is not only the owner of bowling alley Don Carter Lanes, he also hits the lanes twice a week with his two bowling leagues. However now he may have less people to bowl with after the city implements a new five percent amusement tax.

Five percent in the small scheme is not very much but when it adds up that's a lot of money," says Dole.

Bowling allies are one of the many businesses that could be affected by the tax.

"It just doesn't make sense to me why we are going to add it to the stuff that we enjoy," says Dole.

Movie theaters, billiard halls and concerts could all cost us a little more.

"It's was approved as part of the overall budget plan to reduce the deficit without reducing services, without laying off public safety staff or making any other dramatic operational changes," explains Finance Director for the City of Rockford Carrie Eklund.

Although the tax will help the city balance its budget by generating $250,000 a year, for many like Dole the added fees could put their businesses in the red.

"That affects my business as well because that's less bowlers that are going to buy bowling balls and shoes and its one less business in town," says Dole.

The city says they don't want some businesses who already have licenses in place to get hit twice so they are still reviewing which ones will be affected by the tax.

City council will vote on the implementation of the tax next month.