How familiar are you with the Opportunity To Dance Tax & the new state bill, SB5613, that’s looking to abolish it? If you’re not, there’s a great primer about it over at Seattle Met, or you might have caught this Seattle Weekly article or some of the ongoing coverage in the Stranger.
THE DANCE TAX
In short, the Opportunity To Dance Tax was put in place Washington State Department of Revenue in the 1980s as a tax on aerobics and jazzercise studios. But the Dept. of Revenue has been charging this tax in seemingly arbitrary ways—they hit the Century Ballroom & the Tractor Tavern recently, suggesting that they provide the “opportunity to dance” because they provide live music & a floor. No matter that each venue had been told in the past that this tax did not apply to them. And when the Washington Department of Revenue comes collecting, they collect retroactively, sometimes for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
WHY VERA SUPPORTS SB5613
Vera has a few compelling reasons to put our voice out there & rally our community to back SB5613. First, the Department of Revenue could come for us—and they could come for 12 years of presumed back taxes. Second, it’s directly relevant to lots of our friends & partners, so we’d be showing our support for them. The bill has already been backed by the Washington State Arts Alliance, the Seattle Nightlife and Music Association, Seattle Theater Group, and The Recording Academy. And third, it’s Vera fighting restrictions to Seattle’s music community—a major part of our history & mission.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
1. The bill is awaiting vote in Olympia right now, so you can register your personal support of the bill at this Arts Alliance link.
2. You can encourage your people all over Washington State (your friends, your family, your communities) to show their support at the link above, but also call their state senators & representatives. Social networking is encouraged!
3. While we wait for the vote to go through, the Century Ballroom is holding a free, all-ages Dance-In in Olympia on Monday, April 1st. You can sign up & join them there!