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D.C. Council committee recommends tax on sports tickets

Do you think your sports tickets are too cheap? Are you hoping to help the D.C. Council balance its budget? Are you an out-of-stater who uses D.C. roads to get to D.C. sporting events but doesn't want to pay the freight? Are you especially fond of going to events at Verizon Center?

Well, you're in luck! The D.C. Council's Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation has recommended a new tax that would levy an extra $1 on tickets of $25.02 or more, and $.50 on tickets costing $10.01 to $25.01, according to my colleague Nikita Stewart. Tickets costing less than $10.01 are exempt, as are Nats tickets, because of the contract between the club and the city. It's unclear whether this tax would also apply to college games.

Stewart reports that the tax would generate an estimated $3.7 million $3.7 for the city's recreation programs. Her full report, which will update, is here.

UPDATE: D.C. United President Kevin Payne issued an awesome statement on the matter, which ends with this: "I'm sure our fans would like to see the District better maintain RFK Stadium and its grounds and parking lots, if they're going to be asked to pay more in ticket taxes."

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 11, 2010; 3:13 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , Mystics , Nats , Wizards  
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Comments

I don't think three seventy is going to fund many rec programs.

Posted by: grimesman | May 11, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I thought they were already doing this. IIRC, there was some sort of fee levied by the city attached to tickets. Is this in addition to that? Or are they just increasing the tax they already have on tickets?

I'm confused.

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 11, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm gonna repost my comment from the DC Wire story, because maybe somebody here can enlighten me...seriously, I'm so incredulous, what follows isn't even a rhetorical question - I want to know the answer:

What's the point of spending over $600 million in taxpayer dollars on a new baseball stadium if, when you're so desperate for money that you decide to add a special tax on sporting events, you exempt the tickets sold at the stadium you paid for? Did we not give baseball enough money yet? Or was the tax exemption a part of the epically horrific stadium deal?

Posted by: EdTheRed | May 11, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

$3.70 is all they're going to raise? LoL Typo for the Wapo.

Posted by: destewar | May 11, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh god, it was because of the epically horrific stadium deal.

Did anyone even read that f8*@#ing thing before they signed it? Anyone at all?

Posted by: EdTheRed | May 11, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I also thought DC was already levying a tax on entertainment, which included ballpark tickets AND concessions.

I guess this shouldn't come as much of a suprise. The move is in typical DC mentality, tax people who don't live within your borders to support those who do.

Posted by: Russtinator | May 11, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Tax and Spend. It's identical to Hope and Change. Not to mention, Yes We Can.

Posted by: TheDubb | May 11, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Not to defend the exemption of the Nats here--I don't really understand that--but I do think the $611 million "taxpayer giveaway" does need to be clarified here. First, a good portion of that money comes from user taxes for baseball (taxes already on tickets, concessions, souvenirs, etc.), so only people going to games are paying for that portion of the stadium. Second, the Lerners do pay a few million in rent--although they shamefully witheld it last year for months.

In fact, I would guess that since the tickets for every Nationals game already carry a "tax" that pays for the stadium, it seems logical that they would insist that there would be language in the agreement that would prevent another tax from being levied. Still think it sucks, but it's understandable.

Posted by: TheFingerman | May 11, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Russ, I live in DC and go to sporting events, so don't worry - we residents are getting hit, too.

The District would have a lot more money in its coffers if it could do what every state in the Union is able to do and levy income tax on those who work here but live out of state. *hides from inevitable atomic tomatoes thrown from Virginia*

Posted by: TheAMT | May 11, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

DC Should have kept the Redskins. Think how much tax revenue that could be Hauling in

Posted by: Ivantuski | May 11, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

@TheFingerman: Caps, Wiz, United, & Mystics games are subject to the same taxes as the Nats. The proposal on the table would up everyone else's but b/c of the stadium deal, could not be applied to the Nats. Nevermind that the Caps and Wiz paid for their own arena (recently spruced up w/ DC $, to be fair).

Posted by: EdTheRed | May 11, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Why punish the sports fan and not the single-passenger commuter?

Posted by: dclifer97 | May 11, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

What's the point of spending over $600 million in taxpayer dollars on a new baseball stadium if, when you're so desperate for money that you decide to add a special tax on sporting events, you exempt the tickets sold at the stadium you paid for? Did we not give baseball enough money yet? Or was the tax exemption a part of the epically horrific stadium deal?

Posted by: EdTheRed | May 11, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

once again, $600M for the stadium was funded by issuing debt, not taking money from the taxpayers. the debt is being paid down by additional taxes on DC businesses. not sure how the repayment of debt is going but i thought it was going well as of a year or so ago.

this is an attempt to get money for dc programs by taxing the mostly non-district residents who attend sporting events at VC and RFK. its not a new concept as dc has tried to impose a commuter tax for folks who live in VA and MD but work in dc.

however, i'm not sure why i (a VA resident) should be paying the freight for something i will never ever benefit from. but i'm sure the dc council is just banking on the fact that the extra $1 wont deter caps/wiz/dc united fans from attending games. but i understand the city is desperate for revenue like every other jurisdiction.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | May 11, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

The United need to quit whining and be happy that the District allows them to continue to use RFK when it costs more to keep that old park open than the revenues brought in. If not for the threat of the Feds taking back ownership of the land the United would be homeless right now.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | May 11, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

To be fair to the District, Lot 8 was repaved. Yes, it was after it had been used as a storage facility for the city's snow, and the choice was either repave Lot 8 or abandon it forever due to the damage the snow caused. Still, though, after years of going to United games and seeing RFK get absolutely no attention from the city, I've got to admit I figured they would just ignore that issue, too. Sure, they're still a long, long way from finishing the paving, and most of Lot 8 is totally useless, but it's still more than I expected from the city.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | May 11, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

If it in anyway helps DC United get a stadium in the city then so be it, and I will pay a tix. tax on every United game I attend.
@powerboater69, It's not The United...dumbazz!

Posted by: zosodave | May 11, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

"The move is in typical DC mentality, tax people who don't live within your borders to support those who do."

Wait a second, what's wrong with this? Or, a better question, is there any jurisdiction in the United States that doesn't try to do this?

Posted by: grimesman | May 12, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Suck it up, people pay out of state taxes all the time. I go to a bar or restaurant in MD or VA I pay out of state taxes, this stuff runs both ways and its part of life. You don't like that move to a city that is not on the the borders of a state. By the way if there was no Washington DC, then NoVA, PG, and MoCo would barley even exist, they would just be farm land.

I doubt this will help DCU get a new stadium. If they want one though they should negotiate with the city to turn the parking lot where the old convention center is into a combination garage and stadium. Its big enough for them to do that.

Posted by: alex35332 | May 12, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

"The District would have a lot more money in its coffers if it could do what every state in the Union is able to do and levy income tax on those who work here but live out of state"

---

This is not how it works. You pay income tax based on the state you live in, not the state you work in. I'm not sure exactly what you are talking about when you say "every other state in the union" charge income tax on the people who work there.

People who live in DC but work in MD or VA pay DC Income Tax.

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 12, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

"once again, $600M for the stadium was funded by issuing debt, not taking money from the taxpayers. the debt is being paid down by additional taxes on DC businesses. not sure how the repayment of debt is going but i thought it was going well as of a year or so ago.

this is an attempt to get money for dc programs by taxing the mostly non-district residents who attend sporting events at VC and RFK. its not a new concept as dc has tried to impose a commuter tax for folks who live in VA and MD but work in dc.

however, i'm not sure why i (a VA resident) should be paying the freight for something i will never ever benefit from. but i'm sure the dc council is just banking on the fact that the extra $1 wont deter caps/wiz/dc united fans from attending games. but i understand the city is desperate for revenue like every other jurisdiction.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | May 11, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse "

Once again, DC has reached its statutory debt limit, thanks in large part to the stadium construction bonds, and therefore must increase revenue by levying taxes on things like hockey tickets and soccer games.

This is an attempt to get money to help make up for the revenue the District spends maintaining roads and providing emergency and other services for the hundreds of thousands of people who commute into DC from other jurisdictions every day of the week.

You don't like it, feel free to stay home and watch on TV, like just about everyone else does these days.

Posted by: EdTheRed | May 12, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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