With record-setting ticket prices this summer, some want to hike taxes on concert tickets further

Illinois residents already face some of the highest taxes in the nation, with the effective state and local tax rate of over 15 percent the highest in the country, based on median household income. And this summer, the grocery tax returns after a one-year hiatus and gasoline taxes are being raised yet again by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly and Governor.

Inflation and many other economic factors have contributed to the prices of all goods and services rising at rapid rates, and that includes the entertainment industry. Concert ticket prices have surged, with over 3,000 concerts listed for this summer and fall all throughout the state. The average ticket price is $70, and for the ‘big name’ concerts, those prices are well into the hundreds and even thousands of dollars.

In the city of Chicago, for example, a nine percent amusement tax is on the books, and that raked in over $232 million in collections in 2022. Cook County also levies a three percent amusement tax, making the average ticket holder at this summer’s NASCAR race in downtown Chicago paying anywhere from $22 to $272 just in amusement tax fees.

But that’s not enough, apparently, as one Democratic lawmaker is proposing a two percent community benefit tax for festivals and events in Chicago neighborhoods. Festival revenues can reach well into the millions, but now officials are asking for some of the revenues to be put directly back into the community and not go to the park district that is responsible for maintaining the facility in the first place. That sounds like a good idea in theory, but why does there need to be an additional tax levied?

Despite claims by the Governor to the contrary, hard statistical data shows the population of Illinois is declining. This would seem to be an indisputable fact, based on census data. In fact, the population of Illinois declined by more than 100,000 people from July 2021-July 2022 alone. People are fed up with the state of the economy and the onslaught of taxes, in addition to left-wing policies that leave police departments powerless and make communities less safe. The bottom line is, Illinois lawmakers need to find other solutions to problems than by creating additional tax burdens on their residents.