Philly's "Legitimate Theater" targeted by new tax idea

    Philadelphia theatergoers could see a hike in ticket prices. A bill introduced in Council Thursday would extend the city’s amusement tax to performing arts venues.

    Philadelphia theatergoers could see a hike in ticket prices. A bill introduced in Council Thursday would extend the city’s amusement tax to performing arts venues.

    Transcript:
    Councilman Darrell Clarke introduced a bill that would extend the 5 percent amusement tax now paid by sports fans and concert goers to  what city law refers to as “legitimate theater.”

    Clarke couldn’t say how much revenue would be gained by such a move. But President of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance Peggy Amsterdam says it won’t be much. Amsterdam says the average cost of a ticket to a performing arts venue in the city is $20.

    Amsterdam: “They might make a profit in one year if they’re lucky but that is not their purpose. They don’t have stock holders they have boards of directors.  They’re community based. They’re there to serve their community. I think its really unfair to put them in the same category with sports and other entertainment that really is commercial.”

    Amsterdam says the arts are an economic engine for the region, and adding a tax could end up harming the city’s bottom line.

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