Some moviegoers balk at new NC ticket tax
Posted January 3, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Anyone going to see "Anchorman 2," "Frozen" or "The Hobbit" at a theater this weekend will have to dig a little deeper in the wallet to pay for tickets.
Under the overhaul of the state tax system that lawmakers approved in July, tickets to movies and other entertainment, from museums to concerts to college and professional sporting events, are now subject to state sales tax.
The price of a matinee at Mission Valley Cinema in Raleigh used to be $6. Now, it's $6.50, as theater owners passed the tax through to customers.
"There's a few people who have noticed it – "It's usually $6. What's with the increase?" – but not terribly many," said MacKenzie Hancock, who was working at the Mission Valley Cinema box office on Friday.
Bill Peebles, who owns Mission Valley Cinema and several other local theaters, said he had no choice but to raise his prices.
"Regrettably, I cannot absorb this tax increase, and we must pass it along to our patrons," Peebles said in an email to WRAL News.
The change is part of a tax package that also includes income tax cuts, but the cuts aren't as immediately noticeable as the increases – and tax increases are never popular.
"It's ridiculous what they're doing with the taxes here. I'm a state worker, and what they're doing to us is off the chain," moviegoer Teresa Wigginton said.
Brent Keller and Kaitlyn Peck took the higher ticket costs in stride.
"I'll probably still come just as regularly. The 50 cents doesn't really make much difference to me," Keller said.
"It's just 50 cents," Peck said.