Public listening sessions on a 7% ticket tax to support the arts have concluded, and now the Greater Columbus Arts Council has released the final details of their proposal, with some notable changes.
The important details:
Distribution of the fee:
- 70% of the ticket fee would go “to support cultural facilities operations and capital expenditures, provide operating and project support to cultural organizations of all sizes, fund arts and cultural events and
projects and provide grants to artists”.
- 30% would go to Nationwide Arena for “capital expenditures”. This detail has been controversial since the ticket fee was announced.
What events would have the surcharge?
- Concerts and performances at Nationwide Arena, Schottenstein Center, Ohio
Stadium, Mapfre Stadium, Huntington Park
- Professional sports at Nationwide Arena, Mapfre Stadium, Huntington Park
- Nonprofit arts and cultural venues and events
- Concert venues
- Greater Columbus Convention Center events
- Ohio Expo Center events
- Movie theaters
- Golf courses
What events are exempt?
- All K-12 sporting events and college sporting events
- Admissions to events for the exclusive benefit of: religious institutions, persons in U.S. military forces, Columbus Public Schools, Columbus Police, Columbus Fire, City of Columbus, State of Ohio, or any political subdivision.
- Race and walk registrations
- registration fees for classes
- Distillery and cultural tours and tastings
- Complimentary tickets
- Free events
- Charitable events solely benefiting the operations of a nonprofit organization
- Pay what you can events
- Bowling alley lane fees
What changes were made after community feedback?
Two new exemptions were created:
- Events occurring at a live performance or event venue of 400 seats or less
- Event where ticket price falls at or below $10
Smaller operations can “opt in”, and become eligible for grants
- “In order to receive an Operating Support grant from GCAC, organizations with, or using venues
of 400 seats or less, or holding events charging $10 or less for a ticket, must voluntarily apply
the 7 percent fee.”
The Arts Council has said this tax will raise $15-$20 million annually.
Tom Katzenmeyer, President and CEO of the Greater Columbus Arts Council had this to say in a press release:
“… our cultural facilities and the arena are at a tipping point. If we don’t secure an additional
$15 million annually, we are at risk of thwarting the significant economic impact of our arts and culture
sector, including losing jobs, and reducing the important investment in education and outreach efforts
by our cultural organizations. Additionally, the city’s efforts to attract and retain business, talented
workers and tourism will be severely hampered. That’s simply too much for Columbus to risk.”