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Everything you need to know about Art Council’s proposed ticket tax

After gathering community feedback, the Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) has proposed a 7 percent fee to be applied to admissions and tickets to arts, culture, entertainment (for-profit and nonprofit) and professional sports in the city of Columbus.

GCAC suggests two exceptions for the tax:

  • If the event occurs at a live performance or event venue of 400 seats or less, the fee shall not be applied.
  • If the event price at a live performance or event venue falls at or below $10, the fee shall not be applied.

Seventy percent of the proceeds from the ticket fee would benefit small and large cultural organizations, festivals, arts and cultural events and programs, grants for artists and invest much needed funds in cultural facilities’ capital needs, according to a GCAC release.

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The remaining 30 percent of funds will be distributed to Nationwide Arena for capital expenditures.

Tom Katzenmeyer, President and CEO of GCAC says this tax is necessary to secure the $15 million annually that is needed to support Nationwide Arena as well as provide non-profit arts and culture and professional sports and entertainment attractions with the money they deserve.

“Our cultural facilities and the arena are at a tipping point,” said Katzenmeyer in a release. “If we don’t secure an additional $15 million annually, we are at risk of thwarting the significant economic impact of our arts and culture sector, including losing jobs, and reducing the important investment in education and outreach efforts by our cultural organizations.”

According to GCAC’s research, nonprofit arts and culture in Columbus is far more underfunded publicly compared to peer cities.

Their research also indicates that Nationwide arena’s lack of significant capital improvements in its 19-year history places it near the bottom of the list of its competitors nationwide.

Currently, 64 Ohio cities have ticket fees, as do many cities across the country that Columbus competes with for business and tourism.

Read the full proposal here.

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