Sen. Jake Corman tells the Associated Press that a proposal to charge the sales tax to performing arts and museums is a “user fee”:
A plan to extend Pennsylvania’s sales tax to the performing arts, museums, historical sites, zoos and parks is partly designed to shift the taxpayers’ share of financing those activities onto their patrons, an architect of the proposal said Tuesday.
“The idea was to try to make it a user fee as much as possible,” said Sen. Jake Corman, R-Centre, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Senator, tickets are the user fee! The tax on tickets is the opposite of a user fee – it charges a tax to pay for things that people aren’t using. In this case, grants to politically selected”arts” programs would get half the tax revenue, and the rest would go to politically chosen purposes elsewhere.
This is the ultimate example of the nanny-state mentality. Instead of letting successful theaters, museums, et. al. raise their own ticket prices, Senator Corman seems to think government has to intervene by taxing them, and giving that money way to largely unsuccessful arts programs.
Let the market decide which arts get funding – when families attend and pay a user fee – rather than a bunch of politicians making secret deals in Harrisburg.