Here is Mr. Pf’s recent letter:
Do you take blog request? ‘rantz request? Today I’m worked up about
our balanced budget and thought I should write mpomy, the
Blogerantzer, to ask what he thinks about the PA strategy of
balancing the city budget with new taxes on the arts.
Personally, I think it’s nice the Arts are being recognized as a
source of revenue. And naturally I respect that we won’t be burdening
the common man who requires affordable entertainment from the Phillies
(am I spelling that right? spellcheck says no) and the Eagles and
Hollywood. But if we tax the performing arts, won’t we make it harder
for the arts to generate the tax revenue they’re supposed to generate?
Well, I suppose it’s only the cultural elite who actually pay full
price for the tickets anyhow — and if you’re a member of the elite you
might as well be asking to be slapped with a sin tax. But I just can’t
help thinking that the other group who ought to care about the attax
on the arts — the kids of the Philadelphia School District, since they
are a non-elite beneficiary of the educational programming by a lot of
local arts institutions. Hmm, maybe there’s logic that says they
deserve a sin tax, too, for being low-income city residents getting
mixed up with the activities of the elite?
Anyhow, I’m just trying to be a gadfly to get you to blog about this,
if you’ve got it in you.
Pf, as usual, has hit on something here. There are two things happening around these parts lately. The one I’ve been flipping out about has to do with how the City of Philadelphia is going to pay its bills. That has been worked out, sorta.
The other thing, that I haven’t been sounding off so much about, is that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has failed (up until this weekend) to come up with a deal for the state budget. That situation is also reaching some kind of resolution, but, as with the city, all is not well. Mr. Pf notes that a large portion of the burden required to balance the state budget will be placed on the arts. That’s not good. the stifling affect will ripple trough our community and we will reap a bitter harvest in the not-too-distant future. Follow this link to the Philadelphia Cultural Alliance to see what you can do. Harrisburg needs to hear from all of us.
For a better explanation, I recommend this blog post from Ben Waxman of ‘It’s Our Money’. If you are not outraged yet, you will be after reading about what’s NOT being taxed.
But there may be some cause for optimism. Pf points out that the local sports teams are enjoying an exemption under this recent state budget deal. The Inky is reporting that the one group I love to single out for hate and vitriol (my apologies to Mrs. Pf) is actually ready to step up and help with the bail out – Good for you, Eagles fans!