Bar owners and music lovers who've been protesting an obscure 9.5 percent ticket sales tax on events that promote will finally get their day in Olympia: SB 5613, which would clarify that sales tax should not be applied to "the opportunity to dance provided by an establishment in exchange for a cover charge" finally has a hearing scheduled for this Thursday, February 21 at 3 p.m.
Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon's office has confirmed that he's sponsoring a companion to SB 5613 (it hasn't dropped yet), which may give nightlife advocates more time to rally their base and plead their case before legislators.
For what it's worth: This tax is in addition to the business and occupation taxes that the venues already pay on their gross receipts.
Meanwhile, Seattle's own Century Ballroom is hosting a fundraiser this Saturday, February 23 to celebrate its 16th birthday and help pay off the $92,000 the Department of Revenue says they owe thanks to this obscure tax (they talked the fines down from $250,000). "With the threat of this looming for almost two years, we have been altering our programming and adjusting prices while negotiating with the State," reads an explanatory email about the event. "Unfortunately, our efforts have fallen far short of raising the required funds."
The event will feature handsome, fancily-dressed people ("tiaras always a plus!"), 16 styles of dance, 16 types of champagne, and intro dance lessons for $8, so if you love Century Ballroom and/or hate The Man, slap on your dancing shoes, grab $8, and swing, tango, and salsa the night away. The fun starts at 8 p.m.
More details on the event, plus a way to directly donate a birthday gift to Century Ballroom, right over here.