Cushing Debates Saving Historic Theatre With Tax Break
CUSHING, Oklahoma - The Cushing City Council is considering a tax incentive proposal surrounding the historic Dunkin Theatre downtown, which would be privately developed.
The proposal was made by the business owner who purchased the Theatre months after the November 2016 Earthquake damaged the building.
The Theatre has been closed since the earthquake.
Cushing IT business owner Geoffrey Beasley said when a city leader balked at giving the Dunkin Theatre a potential $20,000 dollar annual sales tax break for 20- years, he put the property back on the market last week.
Beasley said the project is a no-go without the city’s help.
City Council is now reconsidering the proposal and is scheduled to talk about the project in executive session Monday.
“The theatre shows that we still value our downtown,” said Beasley, who hopes to re-open the theatre and an attached restaurant by the end of the year.
“We are asking for something that is not a comfortable request,” admits Beasley.
“It’s a simple questions, yet it’s a complex question. What is the benefit of putting tax dollars into a private opportunity,” said Cushing City Manager Terry Brannon.
“There’s a certain magic to bringing back downtown. People are passionate about preserving our history,” said Beasley about the community’s support.