GCAC releases its ticket fee proposal

Andy Downing
Patrons queue up before a concert this month featuring country musician Cody Jinks at Express Live. Columbus City Council will consider a proposal that would place a tax on tickets to such events to help fund the arts in central Ohio.

Following weeks of public debate and multiple community forums, the Greater Columbus Arts Council just released a more comprehensive ticket fee proposal.

Much of the proposal falls in line with the initial pitch, which you can read more about in Alive’s Sept. 5 cover feature by clicking here.

GCAC has proposed a 7 percent fee, which would be applied city-wide to admissions and tickets to arts, culture and entertainment events, both for-profit and nonprofit.

Based on community feedback, the updated GCAC proposal does allow exemptions for venues with a capacity of less than 400 (Ace of Cups, with a capacity of 300, would be one of the larger exempted venues in the city). In addition, if the event price at a live performance or event venue falls at or below $10, the fee would not be applied.

“These proposed changes would exempt a number of live events around the city, children’s tickets in most cases, as well as non-ticketed and smaller cash-based cover charges,” Tom Katzenmeyer, President and CEO of the Greater Columbus Arts Council, said in a press release. “Our goal was to reduce or eliminate the administrative burden on smaller businesses, organizations and projects.”

The proposal also spells out events that the arts council recommends not including in the definition of “admissions and tickets,” including race and walk registrations, charitable events solely benefiting the operations of a nonprofit organization, lane fees at bowling alleys, registration fees for classes, lectures, workshops and camps, and more.

As previously reported, the proposal will now go to City Council, which will likely hold public meetings to discuss the fee before council members vote on the bill. (A public vote is not required.)

If approved, the tax would go into effect at the start of 2019.

Those interested can read the full text of GCAC’s proposal by clicking here.