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Wilmington-area attractions raising ticket prices to cover new sales tax

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The Children’s Museum of Wilmington is increasing ticket prices by a dollar to cover the new sales tax. The Children’s Museum of Wilmington is increasing ticket prices by a dollar to cover the new sales tax.
Airlie Gardens is considering increasing admission for visitors from New Hanover County. Airlie Gardens is considering increasing admission for visitors from New Hanover County.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Your next trip to the museum or movie theater will probably cost more thanks to new state tax laws that take effect Jan. 1.

North Carolina lawmakers overhauled taxes this year, cutting personal and corporate rates but levying sales tax on tickets to attractions, including concerts, movies and museums.  

The Children's Museum of Wilmington is increasing ticket prices to cover the 7 percent tax. General admission will jump from $8 to $9, Executive Director Rick Lawson said.  

"I do think it's going to hurt our admission for a while until people find out how their discretionary income can be adjusted," he said. 

Lawson believes the higher ticket prices will impact frequent visitors more than tourists.  

"When they come to visit, they're going to come see us," Lawson said. "At the beach in the summertime when it rains, and it's real hot. I think people are going to come, but I also think our regular people are going to take a look at their end-of-the-month income."

Laura Duran, visiting from Illinois, watched as her children played with a yellow dump truck at the museum Friday.  

"The tax probably wouldn't affect my decision personally, but I know others that maybe are stretched a little bit more on their disposable income that could affect their decision to regularly attend museums, or movies or whatnot," Duran said.

Airlie Gardens is also subject to the new sales tax. The garden, part of New Hanover County Parks and Recreation, plans to increase its admission for non-county residents from $8 to $9. Rates from in-county visitors will remain the same, according to Development Director Janine Powell. The adjustment will have to be approved by New Hanover County Commissioners.

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