The Playgoer: Taxing Theatre, cont.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Taxing Theatre, cont.

The victims of the imminent Broadway ticket tax go beyond the audience. Try AEA members' pension funds.

Reports Riedel:

For many years, New York City imposed a 5 percent "amusement tax" on theater tickets. But in the 1970s, with union pension funds practically insolvent, producers persuaded the city to rescind it. In exchange, the producers agreed to kick 4½ percent of ticket sales into the pension funds. Those funds fattened up nicely during the economic boom of the last 10 years, when Broadway posted yearly grosses of $1 billion or more.

But in the current economic climate, "the notion we can afford both the tax and the pension contribution flies right in the face of people pulling in their budgets," says [producer Tom] Viertel.

I guess this doesn't just mean actors, but directors, designers and stagehands as well.

So save up, people!

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