If you have been following along, Cook County announced that DJs, electronic, rock, rap, and country music do not meet the their definition of “music” under the scope of “fine arts.”
Which essentially meant they would come after venues such as our beloved Beauty Bar and Evil Olive for back taxes to the tune of $200K a piece, that were previously exempted under the 3% amusement tax.
Under the county code, venues that hold fewer than 750 people are exempt from a 3% tax on admission fees for “live cultural performances,” including music.
How my bud Derek Berry fought the power on the front of Beauty Bar:
Luckily, today, Cook County commissioner John Fritchey introduced legislation to amend the County’s amusement-tax ordinance.
From Pitchfork: According to a press release, the language of his proposed change closely mirrors the rules in the city of Chicago, which specifically includes performing DJs in its amusement-tax exemption.
“I don’t believe that government should be playing culture police and deciding what constitutes ‘music,’” Fritchey said in the release. “Going after small businesses who have in good faith complied with what should be a commonsense reading of the law is just plain wrong, and to have it happen in a city that has given the music industry some of its most famous DJs and rappers just adds insult to injury.”
Thank you Mr. Frichey for seeing the value in art and music. A man who just made this picture his cover photo: