I hate that I am still having to post these disappointing updates about the Arts in PA. However, there are still a few more days to make changes to the budget! Here is the latest news from the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and Citizens for the Arts:
Proposed State Budget Includes Sales tax Expansion
The new proposed state budget agreement removes a sales tax exemption on tickets to museums, theaters, concerts, opera, ballet and other similar activities as a means of raising revenue for the state. According to an article in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer "Sources familiar with the final package said the deal calls for the creation of a special fund for cultural institutions and the arts."
As the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council continues to work with partners across Pennsylvania to determine a unified course of action, local arts advocates can help by calling their state legislators.
1) Let them know that you are opposed to the sales tax expansion and that this is "taxing" ordinary citizens out of the cultural experience.
2) Ask them why the arts have been singled out for this tax, when other forms of entertainment with much greater revenue generating potential, such as movies and sporting events, are exempted?
3) Demand that if Harrisburg is going to create a dedicated arts fund, then the arts need to be invited to the table to talk about it.
If you need a phone number for your legislators visit the Citizens for the Arts website. The budget will take at least 10 days to pass, so the time to act is now.
For up-to-the-minute information regarding arts funding in the state budget, follow the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.
Please forward this message to your contacts or networks who are supportive of the arts.