Washington Mayor Vincent Gray has unveiled a 2012 budget which would subject tickets to DC theatres to the City’s 6% sales tax. The tax, Gray predicts, would generate $2,303,000 in FY 2012 and nearly ten million over the next four years.
The proposed sales tax would be applicable regardless of venue, and would be charged even for high school productions in the City of Washington.
“If this tax happens – and audiences won’t attend arts events because ticket prices are too high – everyone loses,” warned Linda Levy-Grossman, Executive Director of the Helen Hayes Awards. Levy-Grossman, speaking for her organization and for Cultural Tourism DC and Cultural Development Corporation, urges everyone opposed to the tax hike to sign this petition and, for DC residents, to write to their City Council members (here’s a link to a sample letter that might be useful; you’ll find the Council Members’ e-mail addresses here).
In addition to proposing a tax on theater tickets, Gray also recommends other measures likely to impact the theatregoer: a 12% - 18% sales tax on parking and an increase in the sales tax on the off-premises sale of alcohol from 9% to 10%. For those interested in the Mayor’s proposed 2012 budget, here’s the link.