Protestors say Cultural tax won’t help PA

    Angry over a proposed tax on theater events and zoo visits, leaders from many of Philadelphia’s arts and cultural organizations held a public protest at noon Friday at Dilworth Plaza near City Hall.

    Angry over a proposed tax on theater events and zoo visits, leaders from many of Philadelphia’s arts and cultural organizations held a public protest at noon Friday at Dilworth Plaza near City Hall.

    They have strong support in Harrisburg. Thursday a House Committee voted to drop the arts tax. But even with that action, the tax could be added back by the full House.

    State lawmakers say they need the arts tax – which would be six percent statewide, and 8 percent in Philadelphia – to help close this year’s budget deficit.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091001pcartstax.mp3]

    As the theater season ramps up in the fall, executive directors are taking their own stages, urging opening-night audiences to contact legislators to vote against the tax.

    The city’s arts liason Gary Steuer says the state would be better off taxing cigarettes or gambling.

    Steuer: Other sorts of taxes, if people don’t use the thing you’re taxing, that’s actually a good thing. Whereas in the case of the arts, if it has a negative impact on arts organizations’ ability to deliver services to their community, that’s a social bad.

    The proposed art tax hit most arts organizers by surprise, when it was announced last month.

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