Following a debate, Cook County — the Illinois municipality which covers the city of Chicago — is set to officially recognise DJ shows as cultural contributions.
The decision will affect a current law which allows venues of below 750-capacity exemption from a 3% tax on admission fees for "live cultural performances".
Announced via a Facebook post from Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey, the admendment "makes it clear that it was never the intent of the Administration for the County to play culture police and make decisions on what is, or isn’t, music or art."
The issue was first raised was when the Country attempted to claim back a large sum of taxes from two small local venues, believing that modern music such as rap, rock and dance music didn't classify as "fine art".
Joe Shanahan, owner of internationally respected local venues Metro and Smart Bar is quoted in the post, applauding the decision. “These musical styles are all recognized as art around the world and Chicago is rightly recognized as the birthplace of some of the best-known artists,” he says.
“This agreement confirms that government officials should not be the arbiters of what constitutes art while affording small venue owners a sense of certainty as they continue to present musical talent to Chicagoans and the many visitors who flock to our venues based on our city’s international reputation as a music capital.”
The decision comes not long after a Berlin court decided that legendary nightclub Berghain is a "cultural space", giving it tax breaks usually reserved for theatres and museums.
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