Increased sales tax coming for admission tickets - WNCT

Increased sales tax coming for admission tickets

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Beginning Jan. 1, a new state sales tax expansion will go into effect, increasing the tax on a number of admission charges. Beginning Jan. 1, a new state sales tax expansion will go into effect, increasing the tax on a number of admission charges.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Sweeping tax changes will soon take affect come the new year, and businesses are already gearing up for it.

Beginning Jan. 1, a new state sales tax expansion will go into effect, increasing the tax on a number of admission charges -- including movies, concerts, plays, sporting events and museums. The expansion will increase the sales tax on admissions up to 7.5 percent in some counties.

The increase means that a number of businesses could raise their admission prices to cover the sales tax.

"What are patrons going to cut back on, is it just a movie?," asked Bill Peebles, who owns Colony Theatres, Mission Valley Cinema, Rialto Theatre and Six Forks Station Cinema.

Peebles said the increase could have a trickle-down effect on businesses beyond just entertainment.

"Maybe they'll eat at home before and after the show. They won't go out to dinner before the show," Peebles pointed out.

Stone Theatres owner, Herman Stone, echoed Peebles' sentiment, explaining the increase could deal an economic blow to communities.

"We are an economic hub for our communities," Stone said. "This tax not only takes direct aim at North Carolina's movie theatres, but at all of the businesses that rely on our industry."

The National Association of Theatre Owners of North & South Carolina called the increase a "devastating blow to moviegoers and movie theaters."

"The plan's supporters claim it will put more money into the pockets of hard working North Carolinians and will boost their quality of life," said NATO president Rob McHone. "In reality, the increase in the price of movie tickets will put this form of entertainment out of reach for many of our customers -- something that is bad for business and bad for North Carolina."

Some museums and non-profits are working on ways to absorb the tax increase so the cost won't get passed on to consumers.

The sales tax expansion is part of the broader Tax Reduction Act passed this summer by the GOP-led General Assembly and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory. The law reduces corporate and individual income tax rates, but increases the sales tax base.

The law also eliminates the popular sales tax holiday weekend and Energy Star tax holiday.

Democrats argue the law helps the wealthiest and large out-of-state corporations at the expense of working families.

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