A source at the Helen Hayes Awards sent out this email alert on Friday regarding the district's proposed six percent tax on ticketed art events. Here's his missive in full, along with suggested ways you can respond, as well as help to spread the word.
Yep, it's true. The District of Columbia's 2011 budget includes a 6% ticket tax on all ticketed arts events including those at theatres and dance companies, museums, universities, public schools, churches and any other organization that sells tickets for the arts. The Helen Hayes Awards, Cultural Tourism DC and Cultural Development Corporation are working to protect the dynamic and thriving DC arts community. If this tax happens -- and audiences won't attend arts events because ticket prices are too high -- everyone loses:Audiences who would otherwise attend these events.Arts organizations dependent on ticket income and who don't have the existing infrastructure to manage the tax compliance activities.Artists and arts employees whose jobs will be affected due to their organization's revenue loss.Area public school children who depend on DC arts organizations to provide arts education programs.Arts-related businesses, such as those that sell lumber for sets, fabrics for costumes, concessions, etc. as well as the restaurants, transit and the many other D.C. businesses so importantly supported by traffic attending arts events.And the DC government who loses the 10% tax it receives from restaurant sales by virtue of resulting reduced restaurant trafficThere are 4 ways we are asking theatre administrators, artists, audiences and supporters to help us tell DC Government Leaders they are opposed to taxing theatre & other arts tickets:Send a copy of the opposition letter [click here to download a template] to every member of the city council. Use this link to get councilmembers' email addresses.Sign an online petition here.Ask others to do the same.Post the cause on their social media pages.The bottom line is that in order for the council to rescind this amendment, they MUST see a significant volume of responses before the final vote is taken on May 26.