Joining Berlin and Vienna, Chicago has classified DJ performances and live music acts as art, meaning that small venues will be exempt from paying taxes accounting for three percent on admission fees.
Officials representing Cook County (housing the city of Chicago) and industry stakeholders set up a meeting to discuss amending the tax to make sure live music venues are considered within the same category as museums or galleries.
“This agreement makes it clear that it was never the intent of the Administration for the County to play culture police and make decisions on what is, or isn’t, music or art, and that fact is bolstered by [Cook County Board] President Preckwinkle’s desire to co-sponsor my amendment,” said Cook County Comissioner John Frinchey. “By bringing together public officials and music industry representatives, we were able to arrive at language that all parties agree recognizes the diverse and robust nature of live music while providing the County with the ability to collect those taxes that are legitimately owed to it.”
All nightclubs now fall under the same status as concert spaces, something London can only dream of. None require a “Night Czar” trying to save the nightlife. Instead, favorable legislation goes a long way toward preserving – and growing – the night life within the cities.
The owner of several Chicago venues such as Metro and Smart Bar stated, “These musical styles are all recognized as art around the world, and Chicago is rightly recognized as the birthplace of some of the best-known artists. This agreement confirms that government officials should not be the arbiters of what constitutes art, while affording small venue owners a sense of certainty as they continue to present musical talent to Chicagoans and the many visitors who flock to our venues based on our city’s international reputation as a music capital.”
The Amusement Tax amendment is set to be heard on October 26th.