Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 20 of 58 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,673 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In Maine, they're talking about raising the alcohol tax. A lot of venues already have a tough time. Malt liquor up 43%, low alcohol spirits up 21%, hard cider up 43% and wine up 67%. Do you think this would affect the ability of a venue to hire bands?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
4,671 Posts
If all the revenue is alcohol-based I would say yes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
725 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,003 Posts
Nah.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,673 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
As a local musician, I invited the Rep. who proposed it to a gig Friday night to meet the people (her constituents) it might affect and talk about it. She's hesitant because she says the musicians, venue owners, wait staff, etc. are "special interests" and that she's not allowed to talk to people in the community about it before proposing it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,731 Posts
As a local musician, I invited the Rep. who proposed it to a gig Friday night to meet the people (her constituents) it might affect and talk about it. She's hesitant because she says the musicians, venue owners, wait staff, etc. are "special interests" and that she's not allowed to talk to people in the community about it before proposing it.
******potential politics alert***** But.........but..................but......................isn't a "Representative" supposed to represent constituents?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
870 Posts
As a local musician, I invited the Rep. who proposed it to a gig Friday night to meet the people (her constituents) it might affect and talk about it. She's hesitant because she says the musicians, venue owners, wait staff, etc. are "special interests" and that she's not allowed to talk to people in the community about it before proposing it.
Ok...
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013-
Joined
·
5,443 Posts
As a local musician, I invited the Rep. who proposed it to a gig Friday night to meet the people (her constituents) it might affect and talk about it. She's hesitant because she says the musicians, venue owners, wait staff, etc. are "special interests" and that she's not allowed to talk to people in the community about it before proposing it.

This is the most ridiculous excuse for failing to meet with constituents that I can recall. Which interests, exactly, are not "special" and where would one find folk that have none of them?

"Not ALLOWED to" meet? I doubt it. 1. get those rules in writing. 2. do not take "no" for an answer.

Your right to petition any representative with any grievance you have should be valued and protected.

Do not stand for this.

[My position on communication has nothing to do with the merits, or with politics, per se. It is simply a matter of following the rules and having fairness. Besides the US constitutional protection on this, there is a specific section in Maine's "Section 15. Right of petition. The people have a right at all times in an orderly and peaceable manner to assemble to consult upon the common good, to give instructions to their representatives, and to request, of either department of the government by petition or remonstrance, redress of their wrongs and grievances." Just because we play saxophones in bars does not mean they can shut us out.]
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
34,573 Posts
In Maine, they're talking about raising the alcohol tax. A lot of venues already have a tough time. Malt liquor up 43%, low alcohol spirits up 21%, hard cider up 43% and wine up 67%. Do you think this would affect the ability of a venue to hire bands?
Please be careful about how the facts are (mis) represented.

The smaller the initial value, the greater the increase can be while remaining a very small number.

Ex. If the initial tax is $0.01 per serving, a 200% increase (gasp!) will result in a total tax of $0.03.

Just my two cents worth...



To answer your question: No, I don’t think it will influence a club’s ability to hire a band - especially a good band. They need people in the seats, and the way to get them there is to ensure a good time.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
18,931 Posts
As a local musician, I invited the Rep. who proposed it to a gig Friday night to meet the people (her constituents) it might affect and talk about it. She's hesitant because she says the musicians, venue owners, wait staff, etc. are "special interests" and that she's not allowed to talk to people in the community about it before proposing it.
Wonder if she mentioned that the reason they are raising the alcohol tax is so she can protect the special interests who contributed to getting her elected by keeping their taxes low ? Maybe that slipped her mind....

....and that she's not allowed to talk to people in the community about it before proposing it.
:)| Gosh, what an interesting form of representative gov't that is...If I were a Mainer, I would really like to see the 'rule' which states a rep is not allowed do this)

Even at a generous 8-oz. pour per glass, the increase is a nickle a glass to a total of 13 cents per glass tax. That's not a significant factor when a glass sells for $6 or (much) more.
Yes and no...you chose wine and beer but hard alcohol is taxed quite high already....
Your source mentions $.60 for wine, but spirits are quite higher: scroll halfway down: http://www.tax-rates.org/maine/excise-tax#LiquorTax

also...

https://taxfoundation.org/state-spirits-taxes-2018/

These show almost $6/gallon for non-beer/wine...

...so for hard alcohol an increase of 21-43% on $6/gal isn't quite as negligible on the consuming end....

Do you think this would affect the ability of a venue to hire bands?
I agree with others likely not, only because the venue would if course just be passing the tax on to the consumers and wouldn't in and of itself be taking any sorta 'hit'. In most instances, I doubt that it would result in a decrease in customer base.
But that doesn't mean it isn't concerning and that a community should not push back . Again, local and state gov'ts have been shifting tax burden unfairly for past 35+ years....besides that, the alarming element in your comment is the unwillingness for the rep to actually engage in feedback from the community the proposal would be effecting. That is not 'representative democracy'....and I highly doubt there exists any legislative rule preventing an elected official from doing this.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013-
Joined
·
5,443 Posts
Wonder if she mentioned that the reason they are raising the alcohol tax is so she can protect the special interests who contributed to getting her elected by keeping their taxes low ? Maybe that slipped her mind....



:)| Gosh, what an interesting form of representative gov't that is...If I were a Mainer, I would really like to see the 'rule' which states a rep is not allowed do this)



Yes and no...you chose wine and beer but hard alcohol is taxed quite high already....
Your source mentions $.60 for wine, but spirits are quite higher: scroll halfway down: http://www.tax-rates.org/maine/excise-tax#LiquorTax

also...

https://taxfoundation.org/state-spirits-taxes-2018/

These show almost $6/gallon for non-beer/wine...

...so for hard alcohol an increase of 21-43% on $6/gal isn't quite as negligible on the consuming end....

Well, I do not think it is correct for us to argue the merits of any particular tax here.

Furthermore, the appropriate level of any such tax, even if it is a good idea, is also properly beyond the scope for us.

If it is not, then I certainly would like to weigh in on these points.

The question of sax players not having a say in public and to their own representative is a different matter entirely.

There is nothing "political" about standing up for the rights of musicians to be heard.

I hope the moderators will see it that way, and that we can show support for our sax playing brothers and sisters in Maine having a chance to express themselves on policy matters, without getting into the merits of what it is that those sax players want to say.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,814 Posts
As a local musician, I invited the Rep. who proposed it to a gig Friday night to meet the people (her constituents) it might affect and talk about it. She's hesitant because she says the musicians, venue owners, wait staff, etc. are "special interests" and that she's not allowed to talk to people in the community about it before proposing it.
Sonja, allow me to translate her response to you: "Sonja, I'm sorry but your opinion means squat to me and I'm going to propose and/or do whatever the hell I want. Now, if you were wanting to make a donation to my reelection campaign, you wouldn't be considered a "special interest", but a worthy constituent. I hope you understand that".

Are her eyes brown? Because she's full of ____.

To answer your question about affecting the ability of a live venue to hire bands? I would think/hope not, but lets be realistic. ANY increase in costs will most likely affect who the most? Musicians of course.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
13,511 Posts
taxes and politics aside, history has shown that people will pay for their habits, pleasures...whatever label you want to use.

The tax will be passed on to the consumer. If a drink goes up 50 cents people will still drink. Remember when cigarettes were cheap...Tobacco companies are still doing quite well.

If every drink prince went up that percentage that is a different story, but an increase on an already existing wholesale tax wont make much of a difference.

Again, not trying to be political, but the so called "Sin Taxes" exist for that simple reason. No one believes it will change behavior. People wont buy less drinks because some small change added to the price. Politicians know the public will absorb the tax. Its an easy target to insure increased revenue.

There are much bigger threats to live music bookings than a few cents on a drink.
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,620 Posts
There are much bigger threats to live music bookings than a few cents on a drink.
There's the answer. Phil nailed it. I'm going to date myself now, but I remember when mixed drinks were $1 and a beer could be had for around 50 cents. Prices have increased dramatically and I'm amazed at the price of a drink in a bar now, but it hasn't stopped people from drinking. I do suspect that the (needed) crackdown on DUI has had an effect on the bottom line for bars, but that's also been covered by the increase in prices.

All that aside, if having live music brings more bodies into the venue, then there will be work for musicians. If not, the gigs won't be there.

So I wouldn't worry too much about this tax, Sonja. I think it's a relatively minor issue in the bigger picture, as Phil suggests.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013-
Joined
·
5,443 Posts
taxes and politics aside ...


Again, not trying to be political, but the so called "Sin Taxes" exist for that simple reason. No one believes it will change behavior. ...
1. We need to stop talking about TAXES and talk about communication.

2. The statement made that no one believes that taxes will change behavior is dead wrong. A lot of taxation policy is based exactly upon the idea that behavior WILL be changed. People are supposed to be more likely to do this or that depending upon where the tax burden falls. Lots of people believe that.

Here is what the Internal Revenue Service says:

"A sin tax is used to discourage the use of products and services that could pose a risk to someone's health, such as alcohol and cigarettes. Puritan colonists used the earliest sin taxes in this country."
https://apps.irs.gov/app/understandingTaxes/student/whys_thm05_les01.jsp

This correction is intended to be factual and historical.

It does not reflect any other position besides how dangerous it is to start talking about these matters. I have a lot to say about the proper methods of taxation, the proper levels, the proper purposes, the proper effects, the proper burdens. None of that belongs here.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2017
Joined
·
6,266 Posts
A few cents here - a few cents there - it's negligible...

...except for the fact that it's a few cents everywhere. In this case it's a few cents on top of all the other cents...

not to mention you already buy your booze with money that's already been taxed...

To answer the question - I believe additional taxes do indeed mean less work for musicians - Especially "special" taxes on things like alcohol which is directly related to the gigging musicians income. Entertainment is something we buy after our living expenses are met, which means it's one of the first expenses we cut when we have problems making ends meet.
 
1 - 20 of 58 Posts
Top