Tax reform could raise ticket prices at movies, sporting events

Posted August 1, 2013
Updated August 2, 2013

— Although it lowers corporate and personal income taxes, tax reform in North Carolina will bring higher taxes on entertainment next year – meaning state and local governments will take a bigger bite out of tickets for live concerts, plays and sporting events.

State and local sales taxes are replacing the privilege taxes already included in ticket prices. That could raise the cost of a $7.50 Durham Bulls ticket by about 55 cents or add an extra $4.37 on to a $60 college football ticket. For an $80 concert ticket, the increase adds up to about $5.80.

"Whatever they do to lower one thing to make you feel better, they end up getting it whatever way they want to get it anyway," said David Whitt, who was out for a movie at Mission Valley Cinema in Raleigh Thursday. 

For a $10 movie ticket, state and local governments would get about 65 cents in sales tax. Though it's not clear what entertainment venues will charge to offset that cost, theater owners are not happy. 

Bill Peebles, co-owner of Mission Valley Cinema, said Hollywood is already squeezing the movie industry and that it's unfair for lawmakers to single out entertainment for revenue.

"The tax is wrong," Peebles said. "I'm tired of being screwed."

Whitt said that, if the cost for going out continues to rise, something will have to give.

"You'll cut out things like the movies and sporting events and things like that and just miss out," he said. 

Moviegoer Isiah Harris agreed.

"It adds up in the end," Harris said. "The $5 and $10 they're always adding on to it, it's always adding up."


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  • HelmutNewton Aug 2, 2013

    There go those tax-and-spend Republicans again!

  • miseem Aug 2, 2013

    And with owning a yacht jet a boat may have some tax priviledges you still must maintain them and buy fuel pay property tax etc.sunshine1040.

    Right. But the guy making 25,000 per year will have to pay the full applicable tax on his 6 year old used car, and also have the upkeep, etc. So who got the break?

  • miseem Aug 2, 2013

    Why haven't you been complaining since the democrats implemented it in 1991? Hypocrite

    Because we all know that Democrats only raise taxes. Republicans make a special point of pledging they will not raise taxes. Which they just did. But not to yacht buyers.

  • BPractical Aug 2, 2013

    "Dress it up however you like, the NC GOP in the GA and the Gov. raised taxes. But that's okay-they left the tax break for yachts and jets in place! corgimom06"

    Why haven't you been complaining since the democrats implemented it in 1991? Hypocrite

  • tracmister Aug 2, 2013

    It's kind of sad to think that many people who are not wealthy voted for these clowns thinking that they actually were going to create a level playing field by just going after entitlements. Well middle class, looks like you got it again.

  • sunshine1040 Aug 2, 2013

    And with owning a yacht jet a boat may have some tax priviledges you still must maintain them and buy fuel pay property tax etc. Put a flat tax on all income be it $10 or 10,000,000. All pay the same 10% unless disabled through no fault of their own

  • corgimom06 Aug 2, 2013


    I'm not jealous of a yacht, jet, boat, etc. And while no, I will admit that I can't afford a yacht or a jet, and probably neither can you, I still make a comfortable living and pay my taxes. My choices in life have led me to exactly where I want to be. That being said, I am aware that I am lucky in that my circumstances were that I could go to college, pay for it without accruing loans, get a good job and own a home. Because I realize not all people have that luck I don't think it's fair to blame and overtax the lower wage earners while giving tax breaks to the wealthy who have had historically large tax breaks for well over a decade. Corps are earning record profits but they still aren't hiring. Maybe instead of trying to blame the person who is working at Wal Mart and having to survive on food stamps, maybe we should look at the millions of dollars in tax breaks these huge corporations are getting and not fulfilling their end of the bargain.

  • Mon Account Aug 2, 2013

    This tax plan is atrocious. Robin Hood in reverse.

  • eyepeefreelee Aug 2, 2013

    Anything Mission Valley wants is ok with me. A locally-owned theater selling delicious, NC beer (Hoppyum!)? Name one thing better.

  • Brian Jenkins Aug 2, 2013

    Great idea for a tax. Now can we double the tax on junk food?
    August 2, 2013 3:27 p.m.
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    Cool name. LOL