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New N.C. Tax on Event Tickets Has Groups Concerned

Thursday, September 12, 2013   (0 Comments)

Star News (NC) (07/31/13) Steelman, Ben

A new North Carolina state tax on single and multi-occasion ticket sales, cover charges, and season and annual passes has nonprofit arts groups anxious. Starting Jan. 1, 2014, the state will charge a 4.75 percent privilege tax on admission charges to any live performance or event, any movie screening, any museum, cultural site, garden, exhibit, art show, or guided tour under a tax reform plan signed by Gov. Pat McCrory on July 23. The statute is applicable to both nonprofit and for-profit organizations and to museums and other local government-owned attractions. Elementary and secondary school events, agricultural fairs and festivals, youth sports events sponsored by nonprofits, state historic sites, and a limited number of institutions receiving state support are exempt from the new tax. Arts North Carolina executive director Karen Wells says the state has long assessed a 3 percent tax on gross receipts, including ticket sales, while over the years most nonprofits had been excused from it. "[The tax is] not welcome, I can tell you that," says Tony Rivenbark with the Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts. "At this point, we don't know how it's going to be enforced." Rivenbark notes that Thalian Hall already already pays state sales taxes on its food and beverage concessions and on souvenir sales.


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