Broadway Leaders Urge State Government to Reject Tax on Theatre Tickets

News   Broadway Leaders Urge State Government to Reject Tax on Theatre Tickets Rocco Landesman, President of Jujamcyn Theaters, was one of the Broadway industry leaders who spoke during a meeting with New York legislative budget writers Feb. 3 in Albany, according to The New York Times.

The Broadway folk had journeyed to Albany to request the legislature reject New York Governor David A. Paterson's proposed tax on the price of theatre tickets, which could raise already high prices by eight percent.

The theatre leaders, according to the Times, argued that the taxes would not only hurt ticket sales but could set off a chain reaction that would affect other tourist-related businesses, including restaurants and hotels, as well as such theatre-dependent businesses as carpentry shops, costume makers and even dry cleaners, who handle theatre costumes.

Landesman, testifying before the Assembly and Senate leaders, said, "With the ongoing demise of the financial sector, policy makers must fight to nurture and protect industries, such as Broadway, that have been proven to generate tourist dollars . . . . I ask you to also recognize the dire consequences this tax proposal may have on the hard-working men and women employed by Broadway, as well as the thousands of other businesses that rely on Broadway spending."

Assembly member Richard L. Brodsky also pointed out that Broadway has not enjoyed either the public assistance offered to sports teams or the public subsidies and private contributions often given to orchestras and ballet companies.

If approved, Governor Paterson's proposed four percent state tax on theatre tickets would also lead to a four percent tax imposed by New York City. A $120 Broadway orchestra seat would then cost an additional $10.