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Council Committee Guts Bill Aimed at Capping Ticketmaster Fees

Thursday, August 1, 2013   (0 Comments)

Baltimore Sun (07/02/13) Broadwater, Luke

A Baltimore, Md., City Council committee has removed provisions in a bill that sought to restrict the amount of convenience fees tickets sellers could add to the price of a ticket. Concerned that limiting fees charged for online ticket sales would discourage bookings of popular acts in Baltimore, City Council members amended the bill and voted only to require ticket sellers to disclose their fees at the time of sale. The original bill, sponsored by councilman Carl Stokes, sought to cap fees at below 15 percent of a ticket's face value. Stokes says the bill is now useless. "They might as well just throw it away," he says. Ticket sellers and operators of the city's venues applauded the decision, while consumer groups criticized the changes. Stokes says the city is losing $500,000 from uncollected taxes, since venues are not required to pay taxes on service fees, and high service fees are used to offset the city's 10 percent tax on ticket sales. Council members supporting the amended bill say they were concerned it would have adverse affects on the local economy and believe that consumer demand will control fees.


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