Another idea proposed back in February: Governor Patterson wanted to levy a tax on all ticket sales from Broadway box offices.
What are the chances that this would have a positive effect on ticket sales? How about zero? I can’t imagine what the governor was thinking when he proposed this tax. “Oh look, Broadway’s ticket sales are way down because of the recession. Let’s tax the few customers they have left and see how much I can hurt Broadway!” Fortunately Patterson finally found some sense and eventually eliminated the proposition from his 2008-2009 plan. But he sure caused quite a scare.
When Patterson first proposed his new plan to tax ticket sales, he was immediately faced with hundreds of protests from the people involved in every aspect of show business, from the actors all the way up to the producers and directors. Members of their unions even formally testified against the proposition, saying that the tax would drive down ticket sales to the point that Broadway would be forced to close some shows to cover the loss.
Broadway tickets are expensive enough already—why make them cost any more? Yes, we all know that New York’s government is suffering from the recession too, but what they don’t seem to realize is that creating a new tax such as this one will only hurt their revenues more. Their proposed tax was on ticket sales—if they make tickets cost too much more, people would stop buying the tickets, and in the end the government wouldn’t actually be making any extra money. They’d actually be losing a lot of money.
It is propositions like this that can really drive Broadway under, and thanks to the protestors, Broadway was saved from an even bigger recession than it’s already facing. We just have to make sure nothing else like this ever happens.