Chicago Teams Not Happy With City's Proposed Amusement Tax On Concert Venues
The United Center and its two biggest tenants -- the Blackhawks and Bulls -- yesterday "decried" Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposal to "jack up the city’s amusement tax on large concerts while eliminating it for smaller venues," according to Mitchell Armentrout of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. The Bears and White Sox also "posted nearly identical statements on their respective websites denouncing the plan." The United Center's statement said the plan would be the "highest amusement taxes for fans attending sports and concerts in the United States." The statement added, "By driving this tax to one of the highest in the country, Chicago will lose concerts." Cubs VP/Communications & Community Affairs Julian Green said, "World class entertainers like Billy Joel and Lady Gaga who perform at Wrigley Field have their choice of venues and the new proposal puts Chicago venues at a disadvantage compared to locations outside the city which can attract talent with lesser taxes." The city currently tacks on a 5% tax per ticket for "concerts at venues with a capacity larger than 750 people." The new plan would eliminate the 5% tax and charge a 9% tax on tickets at "venues with a capacity over 1,500 people -- a boon for small- to mid-size concert halls, but a drag for the city’s largest stages." The plan "doesn’t affect ticket prices for sporting events" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 10/18).