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Moviegoers, theater owners debate proposed tax

Posted July 12, 2009
Updated July 13, 2009

— Gov. Beverly Perdue is looking for ways to raise revenue in the coming year to erase a projected $4.6 billion deficit. Her deficit-busting plan would enact taxes on a range of services, including movie tickets.

The so-called movie tax would raise the price of tickets by approximately 40 cents.

"The prices are already enormous. A family can hardly afford to go to the movies,” moviegoer Frank Hielema said.

Governor finds resistance to proposed movie tax Governor finds resistance to proposed movie tax

The owner of Mission Valley Cinemas, 2109 Avent Ferry Road in Raleigh, said he will be forced to pass on the expense to customers at his six Triangle theaters.

"All of our vendors have raised prices, added fuel charges, yet we've been able to eat all of those expenses. This (tax) is one I cannot eat,” Bill Peebles  said.

The owner started a petition asking customers to help stop the tax on movie tickets, but it hasn't been a hit with all moviegoers.

"The budget has to be balanced some way or another and movies are discretionary," Hielema said.

"That's why I'm for cigarette taxes and liquor taxes and movie taxes, although I enjoy them all," moviegoer Mary Ward said.

Perdue's plan would also enact taxes on other services such as appliance installations and repairs, courier services and cosmetic surgery; raise taxes on cigarettes by 50 cents per pack and on alcohol; lower personal and corporate income tax rates; and provide tax relief to home buyers and small-business owners.

The governor has also called for raising the state sales tax by a penny for 13 months, beginning Sept. 1.


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  • Deep Thought Jul 13, 2009

    I know we have to have taxes but why does it seem to be such a problem to increase the taxes on tobacco and alcohol? Do they have a really good lobby? I know NC grew because of tobacco but it's time to start increase the taxes on tobacco and alcohol and not food.

  • DominicanNC Jul 13, 2009

    Yup, so much for change.

  • Oh Baby Jul 13, 2009

    I hope they tax theaters until they go under. I'm so sick and tired of getting stale popcorn. I'd pay $10.00 / bucket for fresh popcorn, but instead they charge me $6.25 for stale. Some day I hope all new movie releases will be sold through the cable company. Then I can make my own fresh popcorn.

  • james27613 Jul 13, 2009

    How about trimming spending Gov Bev ?

    Why is the state spending money on brand new Hybrid cars for Wake County Inspectors to drive around in ?

    Let them drive cars from state surplus, keep the cars for 200,000 miles.

    Why is the state spending money to purchase brand new cars ?

    Strike a deal with Hertz, Avis, etc, they turnover thousands of cars in one year, many 10 months old with 20-26K miles on them, all in great shape, all still under mfg warranties.

    If I can keep my 1999 running with 165K miles so can the state.

    Exceptions for police, fire and ambulance units.

  • lkanzig Jul 13, 2009

    sorry i cant see spending almost 10 bucks to go see a movie per person. ill wait for the movie to come out on video!
    they know what they can do with all these taxes they want to do.
    this government is a joke!

  • Garnerwolf1 Jul 13, 2009

    panthers: marijuana is taxed (as is cocaine, etc) There's just not a lot of voluntary payment of that tax, for obvious reasons.

  • Tarheelfan13 Jul 13, 2009

    I am conservative and I oppose many tax increase measures but I don't see what the big deal is with a 40 cents increase in movie tickets for tax revenue. That would only be $1.60 for a family of four. The reason I say this is the same family will almost spend just as much at the concession stand for snacks and popcorn and drinks as the cost of the movie tickets themselves. And these are the same people who will cry it is too expensive to go see movies now. A small drink at the concession stand will cost more than the extra 40 cents tax revenue.

  • donnied1952 Jul 13, 2009

    To my fellow confused voters:
    Something tells me that you actually believed your votes counted in the elections. OK, that is what you have been taught.
    (1) The top 1% own 4/5 of this countries wealth.
    (2) The next 25% and (declining) work and pay taxes.
    (3) The next 74% are on welfare, illegal, disabled, or are living off of goverment handouts.
    Do you see why your taxes are having to go up. Movie tickets are just the beginning.
    I hope I Live to see the printing machines quit printing money, and watch the fallout. It is definately going to be interesting. History Always repeats itself, just give it time. They will hang themselves.

  • panthers254 Jul 13, 2009

    i personally dont smoke, but before long, cigarettes will be more expensive than crack. lol

    i am really suprised north carolina doesnt have toll booths.
    i am suprised marijuana, gambling, and prostitution havent been made legal just for taxation purposes.

  • Southern Fried Yankee Jul 13, 2009

    Y'all need to stop whining. If you're not a ward of the state, you're an economic slave of the state.

    Let Big Sister take care of you.

    From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs (as determined by some faceless bureaucrat).

    'nuff said.