Over the past several months, the city of Chicago caused quite the scare among club and venue owners. According a section of Cook County Department of Revenue code, the city implements an amusement tax, which enforces a three percent tax of all ticket sales from venues with a capacity of 750 or less, unless the tickets are sold for “live theatrical, live musical, or other live cultural performances”. Unfortunatly, many of the clubs being sought out to pay those tax fees back were home to many dance music acts, which is not classified under the title of a cultural “fine art” form.
Fortunately, the nightmare for Chicago clubs is over. According to a press release from Commissioner John Fritchey on October 14th, 2016, “all sides have come to an agreement on language amending the County’s amusement tax ordinance in order to clarify reporting requirements for small venue operators by recognizing the validity of live music and DJ performances as recognized art forms”. The city came to an understanding that they can’t compartmentalize culture by intentionally disconnecting entire art forms, like DJing, from being officially recognized as “good”. This big step forward means that owners no longer have to worry about paying the large amount of taxes.
The new measure is not only forward progress for the city of Chicago, but for EDM and electronic genres in general. Like Berlin and Vienna before it, Chicago is now a part of dance music’s upward climb to culturally integrated acceptance.
Fritchey’s amendment is set to be heard on October 26, 2016.