As we’ve written about here in the past, the North Carolina state government is considering a series of tax reforms, including assessing sales tax on “amusement activities.” ARTS North Carolina believes such a tax would hurt arts organizations across the state, and is asking individuals and organizations in counties with Legislators who serve on the Revenue Laws Study Committee to contact their reps before noon on November 22.
From ARTS North Carolina:
Identify yourself as a constituent in the opening paragraph. Keep your messages short and personal, and always be respectful.
On behalf of arts and cultural organizations and North Carolina citizens, we respectfully request your support of a delay in the application of the sales tax on amusements currently scheduled to begin January 1, 2014, for the following reasons:
• Organizations have not had time to adequately prepare. The question of which organizations are exempt and which are not under the current law were not clarified until the Revenue Laws Committee meeting in October. Anticipated cost of computer software and administrative support were not budgeted for the current year.
• On January 1, arts organizations, cultural institutions, museums and gardens, are expected to adhere to the law. However, “state entities” and Grassroots Science Museums have been ruled exempt. This has the unintended consequence of creating “winners and losers”, and because Revenue Laws has prepared a bill for introduction in May that eliminates all exemptions, all entities that must pay the tax should be scheduled to begin on the same date projected for October 1, 2014.
• The delay would help avoid confusion for North Carolina citizens. We would expect an outcry of frustration as citizens are charged sales tax at some venues and not at others.
Conclusion: Finish your message with a short message of appreciation for the Legislature’s support of grants funding to the North Carolina Arts Council and their support of arts education policy. Thank them for understanding the complexities and confusion of the tax issue and give them credit for being willing to work for a solution.
Please forward any Legislative responses to Karen@artsnc.org or contact us if a Legislator asks a question and you need assistance.