RENO, Nevada (CelebrityAccess) — Tickets for the Burning Man festival will be a little expensive in 2016 as the state tacks on a live entertainment tax for the first time this year.
According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, The Nevada Department of Taxation notified Burning Man organizers last week that the more than 15,000 tickets sold for the festival qualified it for the tax.
"The activities that take place during Burning Man constitute live entertainment, whether or not those activities are provided by patrons of the event. Because Black Rock City is located on public land and access to the area during the event is limited to those who have purchased tickets, it meets the definition of a facility," wrote Nevada Department of Taxation Executive Director Deonne Contine. "Because Burning Man collects the taxable receipts from those attending the event, Burning Man is the taxpayer and responsible for paying (Live Entertainment Taxes) to the State of Nevada."
Organizers for the festival had previously avoided the tax, arguing that attendees to the event provided the entertainment through performance art and sculpture installations.
"From our perspective, this is the latest attempt by an outside entity to unfairly tap the resources of Burning Man and its participants," said Burning Man's legal counsel, Elizabeth Stallard, in December. "Some seem to view Burning Man as the 'golden goose' they can turn to when they want money for other projects."
Nevada legislators amended the entertainment tax regulations in 2015 to include a broader definition of what qualifies for entertainment, largely in response to the rise of outdoor music festivals in Las Vegas. – Staff Writers