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New North Carolina Entertainment Tax Worries Local Businesses

5:56 PM, Aug 2, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, N.C. - If you thought a trip to the movies was expensive before, get ready to pay even more for movies, museums and even concerts. It's all thanks to a tax increase approved by state lawmakers.

Going to the movies or visiting a museum is something that's easy to cut out if you're trying to save money. The Greensboro Science Center just opened up a new SciQuarium and raised prices. Therefore, the leadership doesn't want to have to raise prices again with this new tax. Right now, they're planning to just absorb the cost of the tax.

"People only have so much disposable income. They have to make decisions about where they're going to spend that," Greensboro Science Center Financial Director Beth Hemphill said.

At Triad Stage, the organization is also trying to figure out what to do with this new tax.

Absorbing the cost of the tax would cost almost $40,000. For a local theater company, that's a lot of money. Plus, the non-profit also faces another challenge...right now, it doesn't collect taxes.

"Not only do we have to figure out what to do with the cost, we have to figure out how to track it, how to report it. It's an entirely new system that is set to go into effect in less than six months. We're scrambling," Triad Stage Co-Founder Richard Whittington said.

This new tax also applies to movie tickets. People already complain about high ticket prices. Theater owners fear this new tax will drive people away and hurt other businesses tied to movies, like restaurants.

"This is sort of an incredible increase in taxes overnight. We're trying to do what we can to mitigate the cost and keep the ticket prices low," Carousel Theaters Co-Owner Robert McHone said.

The new tax goes into effect on January First. However, some local organizations told me today they're hoping to get that date pushed back or even get rid of the tax all together.

To read the new law, check out page 17 of this document.

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