I’m outraged. Flabbergasted.
With Rendell’s newest budget proposal of adding a six percent entertainment tax to ticket sales of concerts, theater and symphony events, that would leave Harrisburg concertgoers stuck with having to pay an astronomical SIXTEEN PERCENT TAX to see their favorite band or show.
The City of Harrisburg already has a ten percent amusement tax in place (non profits are exempt) and adding the proposed six percent from the state would place promoters of for-profit events in the uncomfortable position of passing along the extra cost to the consumer.
A ticket that currently costs ten dollars would now cost eleven dollars and sixty cents. Doesn’t sound like much? Consider this…
A ten dollar show is a regional or “baby” national, upcoming band. The Hackensaw Boys is a ten dollar ticket. Mike Doughty is on sale right now for fifteen.
But want to see a bigger name? It’s a minimum of thirty bucks. That’s what a concert ticket costs. If the latest budget proposal goes into effect, it will thereby raise ticket prices even MORE than they are already taxed.
Because, for a promoter, it’s not just the sales tax. LiveNation and Ticketmaster seem to increase their service and “convenience” fees every day.
Just this past weekend, we had Beerfest at Appalachian Brewing Company. The main way of purchasing tickets was online. The only complaint from attendees was that on a thirty dollar ticket, there were over five dollars in “service” and “convenience” fees attached.
Add to that, a promoters profit on an event is anywhere from twelve to fifteen percent of gross ticket sales. So, essentially, the state and the city will earn substantially more than the promoter will on a concert or ticketed event.
And that’s fair, how? How is it fair and just that an industry whose service and product is produced solely in the minds of it’s purveyors…there are no factories spewing noxious gasses into the environment. We do not outsource production of a sixteen minute jam to a company in China. We do not take away from any other industry by consolidation of services.
Live Music is created by the people who perform it. And promoters are the ones who distribute that product to the public. We, literally, enrich lives. And now our government wants to tax that even MORE than it’s already taxed.
Many of you thought I was crazy for making such a big deal about our local amusement tax. Many of you thought I’d never get that changed and that I was pissing in the wind. But now that we’re faced with yet ANOTHER tax…imposed by the state…I don’t seem so crazy, do I?