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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Club Tax Rollback May Not Happen

posted by on October 28 at 17:27 PM

Musicians and club owners are starting to fret that a proposed rollback of the five-percent tax on ticket sales for small venues may be the next victim of city council budget cuts.

Earlier this year, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels proposed rolling back the tax, which brings about $300,000 in revenues to the city every year, for venues that hold fewer than 1,000 people; regular show live music; and have a clean legal record. In theory, the tax cut would create a friendlier atmosphere for nightlife and put more money in musicians’ pockets; according to nightlife lobbyist Tim Hatley, the money “all goes back to the musicians, because everybody gets their cut of the door.” He adds, “Five percent may not seem like a lot, but every little bit helps.”

However, with critical direct services to homeless people, low-income residents, kids, and the elderly facing potential budget cuts, some council sources say it’s hard to justify a giveaway to clubs. The council’s budget deliberations will continue through November.

RSS icon Comments


I know, we could use it to buy a bomb disposal robot tank ... which we don't need.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 28, 2008 5:35 PM

How exacly does this money roll back to musicians? Do they have to lobby for their share? Is it handed out as per some formula? Do you have to know someone to get a cut?

Posted by PC | October 28, 2008 6:11 PM


good point- it rolls back to club management

scrub it, nice idea, more free comcerts in the coming depression, who will have all that $$$$, sorry boomers, get it

Posted by Jim | October 28, 2008 6:50 PM

5% comes out of the gross door at settlement as a show expense. So, say for instance your band is playing and will get 50% of the net door income. Well, it's net AFTER that 5% tax (and other expenses). So, make that tax go away, and 5% more of the gross door goes to the bands. It's a good thing. Otherwise that money goes to subsidize the stadiums - out of artists pockets and into the pockets of the players and owners of the NFL and MLB.

This is a great proposal by the Mayor. Any council member who wants to get re-elected would be smart to support it.

Posted by Meinert | October 28, 2008 6:57 PM

Meinert @ 4:

Why don't you enlighten us dummies what happens before the net door income? Why don't you explain it to us right from the start? Why don't you start with the gross? Start with the gross. Where does the gross go? Break it down as percentage of the gross. Enlighten us, please.

Posted by Student | October 28, 2008 8:19 PM

@4 (Meinert)

According to schoolhouse rock math, if a band gets 50% of net door income, and the city's 5% comes out of the gross (i.e. before net), then if the tax was rolled back, how much more of the net would the band get?

a) 5%

b) 2.5%

c) 1%

Answer: b) 2.5% because the band is splitting the door income 50/50 and only gets half of any savings from the gross.

If a cover charge is $6, and 200 people attend, then the total gross is $1,200.

Assuming for this example there are no other costs coming out of gross, then WITH the 5% tax (i.e. $60) the net is $1,140 and the band gets half, or $570. But WITHOUT the tax, they would get $600.

So yeah, the $30 extra bucks the band would get could buy some brewskis or more guitar strings. Roll it back!

Posted by I am your Mother | October 28, 2008 11:24 PM

Give the tax to food banks

30 fucking dollars - are you kidding

sounds like a head butting contest - if indeed the numbers in question are so meager

Posted by Adam | October 29, 2008 6:14 AM

@6 - the other 2.5% goes to the other bands on the bill, with a small part going to the promoter and possibly the venue. It's a good thing. An especially positive move from a City that has been decidedly anti-music/nightlife as long as I can remember. Will it change the world? No. But it will help the live music scene a little, which is much better than the city passing ordinances that would shut it down. And the Council needs to get on board.

This afternoon the Mayor will also be announcing a 12 year pro-music plan called Seattle: City of Music, where he'll lay out a long term strategy to support the Seattle music scene.

Posted by Meinert | October 29, 2008 8:34 AM

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Posted by ukpg ofxmcki | November 2, 2008 6:07 PM

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