CHICAGO (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Richard M. Daley, the mayor of Chicago recently revealed a budget that among other measures, includes an increase in the amusement taxes charged by the city. Chicago is, as are many other municipalities, struggling to pay for essential city services such as police and fire departments and the city is hoping to help make up for these shortfalls with an additional $10 million in revenue from recreation tax increases in 2009. In addition to entertainment, the taxes would include cigarette and non-alcoholic beverage taxes.
The proposed increase would raise the tax on live entertainment on venues with a capacity of 750 or more by 1%, bring it to 5% total and from 8% to 9% for sporting events and movies. The plan has proven, unsurprisingly, to be controversial with some, including local promoter Jerry Mickelson.
According to Mickelson, the increase will serve to drive live entertainment into the suburbs, where the tax is lower.
"If the cost of producing the show in Chicago is higher than the suburbs, the suburbs will reap the benefit of that," Michelson told Medill Reports.
According to Medill Reports, the amusement taxes for suburban Cook County are at 7% but nearby Evanston and Rosemont levy taxes of 4% and 3% respectably. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers