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Amusement Tax not an option to pay for new movie theater in Peru

Posted by wlpo on February 3, 2015

Keeping a movie theater in Peru is a big deal for many city officials. But not enough of a big deal to pass an Amusement Tax. Carmike Cinemas plans to leave the Peru Mall at the end of the year. A developer has asked the city for $875,000 as an incentive to build a new 10-screen cinema. City officials had been considering passing an Amusement Tax to pay for the incentive, but that idea has been abandoned according to the city’s attorney Doug Schweickert.

According to a statement released Monday evening by Schweickert, the Peru City Council is not “willing to impose a tax with broader applicability”. City officials say they’re still working on an agreement with the developer DMAR, LLC, the property owner and Carmike.

The new theater would be built north of Hy-Vee and have luxury seating two more screens than the old one. An Amusement Tax would have applied to more than just movie tickets; it would have applied to bowling as well. The possibility of a seven-percent tax concerned Illinois Valley Super Bowl owner Jim Stubler.

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