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June 23, 2015

Nev. Tax on Tickets for Big Events Won't Spare Nonprofits

Nevada lawmakers have approved a 9 percent tax on admissions to major live entertainment events in the state, including those such as the freewheeling Burning Man festival that are run by nonprofit groups, reports the Associated Press.

The measure was made universal to keep event organizers from avoiding the levy by claiming 501(c)(3) status.

Backers said the new tax, which covers all events in venues with a capacity of 15,000 or more, replaces a two-tier system that was difficult to enforce due to a plethora of exemptions and exclusions. Organizers of Burning Man, held annually in northern Nevada's Black Rock Desert, called the tax misguided and said attendees of the counterculture festival already contribute to the local economy via gas and sales taxes and spending at local businesses.

Read a Chronicle of Philanthropy opinion piece on the Burning Man organization's pacesetting approach to fiscal accountability.