Ontario arts groups to be subject to sales tax after July 1

Posted on: January 6, 2010

In Tuesday’s (1/5) Globe and Mail (Toronto), James Bradshaw reports, “Ontario’s arts community is bracing itself for tough times—with some companies predicting a potential revenue loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars—all because of the province’s forthcoming HST. The new 13 per cent harmonized sales tax, scheduled to start July 1, will mean the end of an exemption through which performing arts companies with fewer than 3,200 seats have avoided charging audiences 8 per cent provincial sales tax (PST). Not only a benefit ticket buyers have become accustomed to, it’s a cost many companies operating on tight budgets can’t afford to absorb. … ‘There’s very little price elasticity out there right now. I think people feel that adding to ticket prices is going to be very difficult,’ said Antoni Cimolino, general director of the Stratford Festival. ‘And government’s been sympathetic to that case.’ Cimolino speaks on behalf of a coalition of prominent arts organizations—among them the Shaw Festival, National Ballet of Canada, Canadian Opera Company, Soulpepper Theatre Company, Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto International Film Festival, Roy Thomson Hall and Ottawa’s National Arts Centre—who have met with the provincial government to discuss the ramifications of the HST.”

Posted January 2010