Politician suspends plan to tax Coachella festival
A local politician in Indio, California that threatened to slap the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival with a tax hike has backed down from his proposal, NBC Los Angeles reports.
The news comes after Paul Tollett from Coachella promoter Goldenvoice threatened to cancel the 2014 festival and find a new location for 2015 rather than subject festival goers to what he estimated to be a $36 increase in ticket price.
Councilman Sam Torres said the tax would affect events that admit more than 2,500 people beginning in 2015. Indio city council voted down the propsoal but he vowed to petition to get it on a municipal ballot this fall.
On Thursday (July 5), he issued a press release saying he would "suspend" the petition after Tollett's threat to move. "I cannot in good conscience allow this to happen no matter how dire the city’s circumstance," he said. "My sincere hope is that we can now move past this episode and I personally look forward to working to enhance relationships."
Tollett called the decision outrageous, arguing that the six-day event, which takes place over two weekends, generates more than $800,000 in ticket fees, tax revenue on about $9 million in food and beverages sold, and a Transient Occupancy Tax of more than $800,000 for the city.
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