Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mayor proposes a theatre tax

Currently, the theatre is exempt from sales tax; however, the Mayor's new budget includes extending the 6% sales tax to all live performances

The Washington Times reports that "now-thriving areas such as Penn Quarter arts and entertainment district would be especially hard hit, with its restaurants, shops and parking garages empty as arts patrons stay home or take their business outside of the city."  Restaurants charge a 10% sales tax and parking garages charge 12%.

On the other hand, the theatre is often the realm of the elite.  Shouldn't it be taxed like everything else?  Or are taxes too high and a tax such as this will only ruin the culture of our neighborhood? 

The amendment is broadly written, and presumably will include the Verizon Center as well.

D.C. is uniquely situated in that two states are easily accessible.  Plays can certainly relocate to just outside of D.C. and, with the new tax, offer a bargain.  Not to mention that a lot of suburbanites are encouraged by the theatre to come into D.C. and pay our restaurant tax and parking tax.  But would an extra 6% tax really deter them?  Would it cause plays to relocate?

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