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Tax Cuts for the Arts, Not Wall Street
By Eric de Fontenay (Founder & Publisher)
(more articles from this author)
2003-05-28
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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 dollar?

For more information, visit the Ontario Ministry of Finance website.

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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?

Related News from Mi2N:
» Arts Funding: AFM President, Thomas F. Lee's Letter To New Jersey Legislators


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