Arts and cultural events will cost you 5% more starting in July

The controversial ticket tax saga may actually be over.

Late last night, Columbus City Council agreed that imposing a 5 percent admissions fee on arts and cultural events in the city is fair, sparing the following circumstances:

  • Events that charge less than $10
  • Events in venues with 400 seats or less.
  • Events put on by 501(c) nonprofits that don’t receive funding from the Greater Columbus Arts Council.
  • Fundraising events by GCAC-backed entities.
  • Events by public and private educational institutions, and sporting events sponsored by the NCAA, including at Ohio State University.

The tax is projected to generate $6 million annually for what’s being called the Creativity Fund.

A separate 5 percent tax on events at Nationwide Arena also passed council.

Eighty percent of the revenue from this tax will be set aside for repairs and maintenance of the publicly-owned venue. The other 20 percent will go towards other arts venues.


The Nationwide tax is expected to raise $3 million a year,

The taxes won’t go into effect until July 1.

“It’s a smart investment and a bold plan by a future-thinking city council that will ensure the arts continue to contribute substantially to the economy and provide access to arts experiences for kids and families in every neighborhood regardless of their zip code,” Jami Goldstein, Arts Council spokeswoman, told Columbus Business First.

While City Council celebrated their successful compromise, opponents hung around to voice their opinions, calling the council “tone deaf” towards small businesses and the people of the city.

A ballot initiative to overturn the new admissions fee was promised, reports Columbus Business First.


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