Together, We Succeeded: Year-End Policy
Package Contains Great News for Theatres!
December 19, 2019
important policy priorities that were advanced by Theatre Communications Group
will directly increase theatres’ capacity to serve their communities. Measures
that will remove a tax on nonprofit parking and commuting benefits and increased
resources in support of the arts are included in a package of year-end spending
and tax provisions expected to be signed into law by the end of this week.
of Tax on Parking and Commuting Benefits
The 21% Unrelated
Business Income Tax (UBIT) on parking and commuting benefits that was
created by comprehensive tax reform signed into law in December 2017 would be retroactively
repealed in the deal negotiated across the House, Senate, and
White House. The unprecedented tax on nonprofit expenses has created
significant new costs to theatres and the broader nonprofit sector, diverting
essential resources needed for serving communities. TCG has participated in
advocacy efforts to repeal this tax in Washington, rallying theatre advocates
to help raise awareness on Capitol Hill, and partnering with nonprofits across
the sector to make the case for removing this harmful tax. We'll keep theatres
informed of all the details as repeal is enacted (including information on
seeking refunds for taxes paid).
Funding Advances for the NEA and Arts Education
The spending agreement reached by Congress would increase funding
for the National Endowment for the Arts by $7.25 million, raising the NEA’s
appropriation to $162.25 million for FY20. The spending agreement will also protect
current level-funding for the Arts in Education programs of the U.S. Department
of Education, and increase the Title IV-A "Well-Rounded" education
funding stream administered by states in support of local schools.
These funding and tax provisions gained bipartisan support through active,
year-round advocacy by TCG and its members in close partnership with fellow
advocates. Theatre leaders participated
in meetings with policy leaders in their own communities, joined TCG on Capitol
Hill, and TCG partnered with colleagues in the arts and nonprofit sectors to
make all voices heard.
Note that these provisions need to clear the Senate and White House before
going into effect and, despite advanced negotiations, nothing is done until it
is done, so do stay tuned.
We thank you for all you've done to stay in engaged in 2019, and look forward
to further progress in 2020!