Tax law increases many ticket prices including Tryon Theatre’sPublished 5:24pm Thursday, December 26, 2013
Barry Flood had no desire to raise ticket prices in 2014 at the Tryon Theatre, but state legislators had other plans.
“I don’t want to have to do this, but when I get hit with a tax, I have to do it,” Flood said.
A recent increase in the North Carolina tax on sporting and entertainment events will affect concerts, plays, museums, sporting events and movies. The state has increased the state rate to 4.75 percent, plus additional tax at the county level to at least 6.75 percent.
Right now, movie theaters pay a one percent tax on gross receipts, and sporting events pay a three percent tax.
“I currently pay seven and a half cents a ticket, and with the new tax law, I will pay 54 cents per ticket,” Flood said. “A lot of times I have eaten increases. Just this year alone, the price of popcorn has doubled, but I’m not raising that price. The cost of cola has quadrupled since I began. It reaches a point where I cannot absorb all of these increases.”
Last year, ticket prices went up for the first time in seven years. Flood has owned the theater since 1991.
Theater ticket prices will be $8 for evening shows and $6.50 for matinees, an increase of 50 cents a ticket. Show times will remain the same, at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday.
The entertainment increase has been packaged as part of a new law that obliterates the three-tiered personal income taxation for citizens, replacing it with a 5.8 percent across the board flat tax in 2014, which will be reduced to 5.75 percent in 2015. The same law also reduces corporate tax from 6.9 percent to six percent in 2014 and five percent in 2015.
“Most people will like this if it reduces their taxes, but there are little hidden things in this tax law,” Flood said.
Tickets for events in 2014 that initially go on sale before Jan. 1 won’t be subject to the new tax even when someone purchases those tickets in 2014, as the new tax becomes effective at the first of the year. All movie theaters in the state will start collecting the new tax on Jan. 1.
The National Association of Theatre Owners of North and South Carolina, which represents movie theatres throughout the states, issued a statement saying that the increased tax could put theater tickets out of the price range of potential customers and could affect the industry with job loss and closures.
At this time, Tryon Theater plans a modest price increase but no other changes.