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 Post subject: Taxing for the Arts??
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2002 5:28 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
From the Philadelphia Inquirer:<P>Posted on Tue, Mar. 12, 2002 <BR> <BR><B>Civilization is one wise investment</B><BR>By Peter Dobrin<BR>Inquirer Columnist<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Picture this: $44 million to be used by the orchestra, art museum, opera and zoo, each and every year. That's the idea in Detroit. The deal isn't done, but the Wayne County Commission last month approved the formation of a body to establish a new real estate tax whose proceeds would be used by 17 arts groups in two counties, and for recreational facilities in several townships. Groups in Wayne and Oakland Counties would receive grants of between $150,000 and $4 million each. Arts and Parks, it's been nicknamed.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR><A HREF="http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/entertainment/music/2842005.htm" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE>..</B></A><P><BR>(This might also go into Issues...please feel free to move it)<BR> <BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Taxing for the Arts??
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2002 10:34 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
I think this is a GREAT idea, at least at first glance. It promotes the idea of LOCAL support of the arts, as opposed to federal goverment control, with all the attendant controversy of "big government" blahblahblah. This allows for a sense of local control, commuity pride and investment, which is wonderful. The example of Detroit was interesting; from having lived in that area, I know that investemnt in the arts, especially in downtown Detroit (as opposed to the suburbs)would go a long way to helping revitalize the inner city. From what I gather, not a lot of headway has been made in that area, in spite of optimism by charismatic Mayor Dennis Archer (I think that's his name?). I wish them luck. PS. Detroit Art Institute is one of the better small art museums in the country. Anyone in the area or visting should check it out!


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 Post subject: Re: Taxing for the Arts??
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2002 12:19 pm 
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Many local governments (I know that Houston and Sarasota do this) fund their arts communities through a hotel occupancy tax.

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 Post subject: Re: Taxing for the Arts??
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2002 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2001 11:01 pm
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
As the Inquirer article references, they will have a tough time getting this passed in Philadelphia if only because of our atrociously high wage tax. This year, I was appalled to realize while filling out my taxes, that my parents (who live 35 miles away from Philadelphia) paid less local tax collectively than I (as a single person) did, despite the fact that together they earned more than five times what I earned last year. Ouch!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Taxing for the Arts??
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2002 12:58 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
San Diego funds many of the museums and arts institutions from the TOT - Transient Occupancy Tax - tourists staying in hotels.<P>In some ways this is good and in others I am not so sure. It sets up a rather blasé atmosphere of - oh well - let the tourists pay for our arts. It also places the arts institutions at the mercy of a downturn in tourist business, which as we all know, has been a problem for the last several months.<P>I think people would feel more 'connected' if there were a tax - perhaps in addition to the TOT - coming from the local residents, such as Detroit is proposing.<P>People tend to care about something when they pay directly for it.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Taxing for the Arts??
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2002 2:33 pm 
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Location: New England
Katydid: in comparing your local taxes with your parents', did you include property taxes as well as income taxes? Philadlephia has an unusually low property tax, and your parents likely pay thousands of dollars more in property tax each year than you. If you rent your home, you never see the property tax directly, but you still pay it as part of your rent.<P>That's not to say that Philadelphia could easily afford more taxes: far too much wealth has moved outside the city limits.<P>An "Arts and Parks" plan, in my opinion, would only work in Philadelphia if it were REGIONAL: it would have to encompass Bucks, Montgomery, Philadelphia and Delaware counties. Let's face it: most Philadelphians interested in the type of art that would be funded by such a tax do not live in Philadelphia.<P>On the other hand, Philadelphia is the ideal place in the region to build a serious arts community, due to its centrality, accessibility without a car, and low cost of living. Not many dancers could afford to live in Wayne.<P>So I say, it could certainly work in Philadelphia if a regional funding approach is taken.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Taxing for the Arts??
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2002 6:04 pm 
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
Citibob,<BR>That's a good point, and one that I did not consider. You are right that I am a renter and my parents own their own home. However, (something else to consider) there was recently a several-part series in the Philadelphia Inquirer regarding property taxes, which indicated that the property taxes in this area are wildly erratic with people living in $80,000 homes (in very unglamourous areas, like Delaware County near the Phila. airport) paying double the property taxes of those in $300,000 homes in more desirable locales. The reasons for this supposedly have to do with home values being incorrectly assessed. Sounds fishy to me...and in any event, I have now strayed from the topic at hand.<P>I also wanted to mention, though I know it runs contrary to what people think of this area, that I have seen studies (I think from the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance) which indicate that a greater proportion of the audience for arts groups in Philadelphia comes from Philadelphia County than other area. (The zip codes of donors are, I suspect, a different story.)<P>I, personally, would be happy to pay an annual tax to support the arts here.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Taxing for the Arts??
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2002 7:01 pm 
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Location: New England
Here's how I understand local taxes:<P>Any given local government needs to pay for a variety of local services: the biggest single cost to local governments is public schools. Poor children cost as much to educate as rich children, sometimes more. Streets in poor cities cost just as much to clean as streets in rich cities. In general, the size of a local budget depends on the number of people who live there, not the wealth of those people. A community of rich childless people living in fancy houses will require a LOWER than average budget.<P>Now consider two communities of similar size, segregated by income (as is unfortunately so often the case). One is a community of rich people, who all live in $300K houses. The other is a community of middle-income people, who all live in $80K houses.<P>Suppose they both have the same number of children to educate, which is not a bad assumption. The people in the rich community will therefore pay about the same amount in local taxes as the people in the poor community, in absolute dollars. But since they live in more expensive houses, their nominal tax rate will be lower.<P>The moral of the story? The best (ethical) way to avoid property taxes is to live in a small, dumpy house near a lot of extravagent houses.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Taxing for the Arts??
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2002 7:03 pm 
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That's interesting, about the bulk of the potential audience living in Philadelphia County. Of course proximity has something to do with it, but not everything. I didn't stay in Philly long enough to get a really good feel for the city.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Taxing for the Arts??
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2002 7:07 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
Ha...I love it. We are onto a discussion of property taxes and other such lovely topics. When I lived in NYC, I paid a city tax, state tax and federal tax. Here in Seattle, there is a hotel/motel tax (which goes partially, if not all to the arts) and property tax, but no state income tax. Sales tax is ridiculously high-something like 8.9%, and even more when you go out to eat. That dining out tax is to pay for a stupid (sorry sports fans!!!) baseball stadium, which the citizens voted "no" on , then the legistlature voted "yes" on anyway!,,,Oy!! I'm not gonna go there!! I think the decrease in tourism may be impacting the revenue for the arts, at least in the short term.<p>[This message has been edited by trina (edited March 14, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Taxing for the Arts??
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2002 4:06 am 
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Location: New England
Trina, you paid many taxes in NYC, but not as many as some. I pay NYC tax, NY State tax, MA State tax and Federal tax. I also pay Boston property tax on my car and through my rent. Not to mention sales tax, gas tax, license/registration fees... ;(<BR><p>[This message has been edited by citibob (edited March 15, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Taxing for the Arts??
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2002 8:26 am 
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Cibibob, why do you pay NY AND MA tax? Do you have "dual citizenship"? Ha!!


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 Post subject: Re: Taxing for the Arts??
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2002 8:29 pm 
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Location: New England
I work in NY, so NY takes its bite. I live in MA, so MA wants its share of the pie as well.<P>Dance is a ridiculously expensive art form, and dancers pay more than anyone else for it. I pay a lot more in state taxes than I'd like to, but what can I do?<P>It would definitely be easier to live a "normal life" and get a "real job", and make a magnificant and secure living. When I'm filling out multiple tax forms, I wonder why I don't do that. But when I watch others dancing in the studio, and I see how beautiful it is, I know why I continue to live the life I've chosen.<BR><p>[This message has been edited by citibob (edited March 15, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Taxing for the Arts??
PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2004 7:41 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Another aspect of tax that could work out well for theatres:

Theatres eye ‘massive’ tax rebate
By Ruth Gillespie for The Stage

Many managements have already benefited from the long-awaited implementation of the European Union directive, passed by Brussels in 1990, granting exemption to a wide range of cultural services and relieving hard-pressed organisations of a heavy tax burden.

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