by Sam Hieb
Interesting N&R front-pager on the burden the ticket sales tax will place on local arts organizations:
As Triad Stage begins selling season-pass renewals for 2014-15 this week, it will add state sales tax to the price for the first time.
A state law that took effect Jan. 1 expanded the sales tax to admission charges for entertainment and live events, such as concerts, plays, movies, museums, and professional and college sports.
In Guilford County, that adds 6.75 percent to the cost of admission.
At downtown professional theater Triad Stage, that will tack $16.54 onto its $245 top, six-play season pass.
Like other nonprofit organizations, it can’t afford to absorb the cost.
“It’s definitely disappointing,” said Richard Whittington, Triad Stage’s managing director, a view echoed by other nonprofit performing arts groups.
Interesting in the sense that the $1 “arts sustainability tax” that would benefit local arts groups was a major point of contention during Tuesday night’s Greensboro City Council debate over the downtown performing arts center. One of the more interesting parts of the debate was council member Mike Barber’s statement that he might attend the Alice in Chains concert at the Cherokee casino, and that if tickets are already $105, then another dollar won’t really make that much difference.
I realize N&R reporter Dawn DeCwikiel-Kane probably had this story in the hopper before Tuesday night’s debate, and the new sales taxes covers a wide range of entertainment options, including movie theaters.
By the same token, some might consider it at best bad timing —at worst duplicitous —- for arts groups to be complaining about a ticket tax when they themselves stand to benefit from a ticket tax.