Just when you think politicians couldn't get any dumber, the Albany City Council is proposing a Cabaret Tax. Under the proposed local law, any nightclub, or establishment offering entertainment using musical instruments plugged into amplifiers, would be required to pay a $150 fee. Now they want to tax the music too.
You would think that in this depressed economy, lawmakers would be looking for ways to ease the burden on their constituents. You would also think that they would see the need to work with their local businesses, which includes a bustling Albany night club scene. Imposing this fee isn't going to shut anyone down, but the way I see it, it's just another way of picking the pockets of those who can pay it. Taxing music is morally wrong in many respects. Music for many is relaxation, for some a profession and a passion.
The local music scene has always been fragile over the years, but it's been on the rebound over the last decade. Cities, town and villages all over the Capital District offer free entertainment throughout the Summer season, and into the early Fall. Nightclubs all over see a down-slide in business during these months, unless you operate in Lake George or Saratoga. So during the cold months, these businesses get the opportunity to catch up, so to speak. Hitting them up for ANOTHER TAX is just not fair. The musicians are also directly effected by it. I've dealt with club owners for four decades, and can tell you first hand that most travel a fine line between staying open, and going bust. Every dollar helps. The more they make, the more generous they are when dealing with musicians.
But it's not just the music scene that would be effected by this, the arts in general, plays and other artistic expression's would be forced to pay if using amplified music. Church's & other not for profits would be exempt for this lunacy.
If you live in Albany, send an e-mail to the members of the city council that support this nonsense, and tell them no thank you, I'm already taxed to death. Leave the damn music alone!