As a theatre professional, I am very concerned about Assembly Bill No. 2540 that would impose a tax on the purchase of live theatre tickets.
This tax will unfairly burden smaller theatres and have a really chilling effect on the viability of the theatre community. It may be that some people view theatre as a high-ticket, luxury item, enjoyed by folk who could well afford to pay a nominal sales tax on their tickets and that this would be a good revenue source. This may be true for large, well-established for-profit theatres with huge budgets and a substantial subscriber base.
However, for small theatres it would be the kiss of death. Attendees at these theatres are often younger, less affluent audiences made up of students and recent graduates or just relatively poor theatregoers. These individuals have to sacrifice to attend the theatre, as ticket prices are already high, and many of them would have to stop going if faced with this tax.
Furthermore, no similar tax is being proposed for other types of live performance. It is extremely unfair to burden live theatres with this.
Readers, please write your California State Representative and ask him or her to vote NO on Assembly Bill No. 2540. You can find the e-mail address of your Representative by clicking here.