There’s a famous quote that goes, “No taxation without representation.” Well, we want a raver in the Nevada Legislative office.
The Nevada legislature has proposed a possible new tax revenue for large-scale live entertainment and the sale of vapor cigarettes that Governor Brian Sandoval “is needed to finance his proposed education reforms.” Vaping is a relatively young industry, really only grabbing hold last year, and this new taxation, which proposes a 30 percent tax would likely render it helpless.
However, the tax on live entertainment would include events such as Electric Daisy Carnival and NASCAR. (It’s not clear whether smaller clubs on the strip would be affected.) Nevada’s argument is that the thousands of fans who descend on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway don’t pay tax on their tickets. On the other side, you’ve got the millions of dollars that fans inject into the Las Vegas economy already. Last year, EDC generated over $300 million in revenue for Las Vegas, including spending from guests and Insomniac itself. Over $20 million of that accounted for tax revenue that went straight into the Clark County economy.
Assembly Minority Floor Leader Marilyn Kirkpatrick, a Clark County Democrat, said that it’s important to think of this as a “discretionary spending tax.”
“If you can afford some of those things, you can typically afford a little bit more to the state so we can provide the services that allow you to do all those things.”
Average daily spending for visitors last year reached close to $400, so Kirkpatrick is not necessarily wrong. However, many guests and visitors save up months and months in advance to be able to afford tickets and the exorbitant hotel fees that are jacked up for the weekend. These individuals will likely be the first affected by the new taxes, as Insomniac will likely be forced to raise their prices concurrently.
The debate over the tax revenue proposal is still underway, and there have been no firm decisions made at this point. Any change would likely affect 2016 sales.