Sunday, June 19, 2011

Richmond's show biz-stifling tax

Some 20 years ago I started writing about the downside of Richmond's admissions tax in SLANT, a hyper-local magazine I published (1985-94) at the time. I've seen firsthand how much that tax has had to do with closing down some theaters and clubs. Since then I've ranted against that show biz-stifling tax several times, in various publications.

The list now includes the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The problem with the admissions tax is not so much that consumers object to paying it. It's that promoters don't want to bring their shows here. And, for a small club, having to pay 7 percent of what comes in at the door, when the band of local musicians usually gets that money, takes a nasty bite out of profits. Consequently, there are fewer clubs and fewer gigs. Fewer gigs mean more area musicians have to keep a day job, or they just leave town.

Click here to read the entire piece in today's RT-D.

Then call, or send an email to, your representative on City Council. Please ask them to stop taxing tickets, ASAP.

Update: Some Tea Party types, who would like to hijack this issue and pretend I've made an argument that supports their cause, are playing a game. I'm not talking about lowering taxes because I want to shrink the size of government. I am talking about bad policy; a tax that brings in $1.4 million that stands in the way of the City making much more than that.

What I'm saying about the admissions tax is that if it went away the rising tide would lift all boats, large and small. It would give the City -- and its entrepreneurs -- a chance to make more money from the tourists, conventioneers, etc., who would choose Richmond over another destination, because of the cool nightlife scene that would develop here. Hey, the musicians are already here.

So, I’m not trying to starve the beast. No, I want to feed the beast with good food, instead of bad food that is keeping it weak and always needy.

1 comment:

Tax Questions Answered said...

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