Entertainment tax bill introduced - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Entertainment tax bill introduced

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

A new bill introduced by Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick would put an 8 percent tax on almost any entertainment venue that charges an admission fee.

The current system has a 10 percent tax on venues up to 7,500 seats and a 5 percent tax on those that are larger, with venues like the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Cashman Field exempt.

Assembly Bill 498 is a flat 8 percent for all venues with few exemptions.

Longtime entertainment and sports executive Daren Libonati says it's a game-changer for a state built and surviving on entertainment.

"We're a hospitality industry," Libonati said. "We've got to feed everyone from the lowest person on the totem pole to the highest person so that everyone is working."

That tax will likely be passed on to the consumer, meaning more money to go to a concert, a sporting event, a movie and even a strip club.

A higher tax on events could drive out major tourist drivers like big name concerts, the National Finals Rodeo or even major boxing and UFC cards that bring people to town.

"Exempt those that can bring a certain criteria of dollars because we know that's going to be reciprocated in the casino and other spending," Libonati said.

The bill goes before an assembly committee on Tuesday.

Even if it passes votes by the Assembly and Senate, the tax increase is expected to be vetoed by the governor.

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