Tax Cuts for the Arts, Not Wall Street
Having been raised in Canada, the SARS situation in Toronto
has been difficult to watch, particularly with the recent
resurgence of the disease over the weekend. So I appreciated
Mi2N reader Rachel Young's email informing me of the Ontario
legislature exempting the Retail Sales Tax (RST) from
accommodation costs and admission prices to entertainment
venues in Ontario over the summer. The 10% Retail Sales Tax
is applied to movies, concerts, theatre, sporting events,
and overnight hotel visits.
This is an opportunity to support the arts in one of the
thriving cultural centers of North America that has suffered
considerably from a combination of post-911 and SARS. And
who can resist a tax cut these days, especially with the plummeting
For more information, visit the Ontario Ministry of Finance website.
Not familiar with the exciting Toronto music scene? I'd
recommend Eric Swenker's article "Rock Is Moving North!"
which describes the growing number of bands flocking towards
Southern Canadian venues and most popular venues in Toronto.
Finally, I can't help note that while Canada and EU are
turning to tax cuts as a means of supporting the music &
entertainment industry, the good ol' US of A prefers tax cuts for
the rich on the backs of the arts community, among others. I
don't often delve into my personal political views, but when
the present Administration's policies is so threatening to the
funding of arts education and programs, I need to vent!
Extensive research has clearly established the importance of
arts education in the broader development of a citizenry and
workforce able to compete in this global economy. And
states, facing record deficits, have few choices when
swinging the budget ax, with arts education usually the
first to fall. The only other recourse, support from the
federal government for one of Bush's key electoral issues,
has been highjacked by a Wall Street gift in the form of a
dividend tax cut. Have we in the US become so profit
motivated that we've lost sight of what really counts?
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