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Entertainment ticket tax proposed in MI

Lawmakers in Detroit are mulling the introduction of a US$3 tax on concert tickets as a way to fund the city’s cash-strapped emergency services.

The proposed law, dubbed Senate Bill 884, would levy a $3-per-ticket tax on all entertainment events at venues with at least 5,000 seats in Michigan cities with a population of at least half a million (of which only Detroit would qualify). The revenue raised, says the bill’s sponsor, state senator Coleman Young II, would be equally distributed between the city’s police force, its fire brigade and its emergency medical services.

“This is not a tax for revenue raising purposes,” says Young. “I’m levying it so police officers, firefighters and emergency personnel can provide their services at an optimal rate.”

However, according to local paper Detroit Free Press, the bill is unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled Senate and House of Representatives – especially at a time when Republican president Donald Trump is slashing taxes on a national level.

Photo: © Coreyfein01 / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

 


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Chicago approves controversial ‘ticket tax’ rise

The cost of many concert tickets in Chicago is set to rise after councillors voted overwhelmingly to increase the city’s amusement tax by 4% in 2018.

Chicago City Council on Tuesday approved mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2018 budget by a 47–3 vote, setting the stage for tax hikes on venues with a capacity over 1,500, from 5% to 9%. Currently, a 5% levy is imposed on tickets to any “live cultural performance in a for-profit venue.

Emanuel – the brother of WME co-CEO Ari – expects the tax increase to bring in an additional US$15.8 million for the city, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Mayor Emanuel expects the tax increase to bring in an additional $15.8m

Stop Higher Amusement Taxes, a coalition of thousands of Chicago entertainment-industry workers, opposes the rise, saying “higher concert amusement taxes will drive shows to venues outside of Chicago to more tax-friendly local cities – or worse: some shows may bypass Chicago altogether.”

However, venues with a 750–1,499 capacity – previously taxed at 5% – will be exempt, while those with under 750 seats will similarly pay no tax. The amusement tax made headlines last August after it emerged two venues – both of which will now be exempt – were being chased for $200,000 in “crippling” back taxes.

Other tax increases coming into effect on 1 January include hikes on property, water, sewerage and ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft.

 


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