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NC Taxes Increase Ticket Prices

Some changes to North Carolina's tax law may increase ticket prices for concerts, movies and other entertainment venues.

Those businesses previously enjoyed a 1-3% 'privilege' tax on gross receipts. They will now be subject to the full sales and local taxes, which in Asheville will be around 7%.

"It's just another 3-4% you have to take out of earnings for the artist or venue to send to the state," says Scott Woody, owner of Isis Restaurant & Music Hall. "I guess we deal with that by probably an increased ticket price. It's the only way you really do that, so ultimately the consumer ends up being the one that ends up paying for the taxes."

Some in the industry are concerned that may turn people away from consuming the arts. Museums fall under the new tax guidelines, which means Asheville Art Museum will be raising the price of admission by 56 cents. It's not much, but staff are worried about the administrative issues that arise with taking in tax revenue.

"I think what we want in our communities is for art and culture to be accessible to everyone," says executive director Pamela Myers. "Anything that might inhibit a family or an individual from coming is something I feel badly about."

Non-profits were previously exempt from the sales tax, but will not be under the new changes. Secondary and high school arts and sporting events, agricultural fairs and festivals, and similar events will be exempt from the new changes.

Legislators say the changes will be offset by a decrease in personal state income tax. The previous 3-tiered system ranged from 6-7.75% based on income. The new income tax will be lowered to 5.8% in 2014 and 5.75% in 2015 and beyond.

To learn more details about the new changes, visit the NC Department of Revenue here.

 



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