Just last week I wrote about a proposed city tax that threatened the promoters of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival to find a new venue.
The threat is gone, for now.
The Indio’s Desert Dun reports City Council member Sam Torres has suspended the effort to impose an admissions tax.
Indio City officials are looking to reach a long-term agreement with Goldenvoice, the Coachella event promoter. I’d be hesitant as a promoter to commit to staying in Indio unless there are assurances that any admissions taxes enacted after the date of the agreement do not apply to the agreement.
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (“Coachella”) is an annual music festival held during April at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. The club sits in the Inland Empire’s Coachella Valley. The festival is known for springboarding the careers of emerging musicians, particularly in the rock, indie, hip hop, and electronic genres.
Beginning in 2014, Coachella may relocate due to a proposed city admissions tax, according to a story reported by the Indio’s Desert Sun.
The Indio tax would be five to ten percent on admissions to entertainment events with more than 2,500 in attendance.
Coachella is organized by Goldenvoice. Goldenvoice President Paul Tollett estimates the tax would cost $36 per ticket sold, or $4 million to $6 million to the promoters for the Coachella event. Assuming a ten percent tax, a simple calculation reveals ticket prices are $360 a pop and that the event draws well over 100,000.
The tax is far from a reality at this point, however. The Indio City Council turned down consideration of City Councilman Sam Torres’ proposal. Torres intends to amass signatures on a petition so the proposed tax is put before voters on a November ballot. Torres has until August 10 to obtain the necessary signatures.
Tollett insists he won’t pass the cost on to customers. He says that now likely because he doesn’t want to seem like the bad guy for a suddenly political issue. But if the measure gets on a ballot and passes, he may have no choice if finding a new venue proves too difficult.