This is going to sound boring to many of you, but it could conceivably change the musical landscape in Spokane indefinitely (and critics say, catastrophically), so bear with us. According to councilman Bob Apple, there's a proposed amendment to the City Admission Tax that would make clubs liable to pay for the admissions tax that the city charges if an event promoter were to skip town.
So here's some arithmetic: If a promoter packed 300 people into a show and charged $20 a ticket, the promoter would be responsible for paying the city about $300 in admission tax. Now, if the promoter failed to pay or skipped town, rather than chase after him, as the city must do now, officials could just go down to the club that held the show and demand that the club owner -- who probably charged less than $500 to rent the space in the first place -- pay the tax on $6,000 of ticket revenue that he or she never saw.
Seems like bureaucratic expediency trumping common sense and potentially harming to small business. Councilman Apple says it would even apply to churches, meaning we'd be taxing nonprofits for for-profit activities they had no hand in. It goes to vote at the City Council meeting next Monday, so speak out at 6 pm. If you can't make it, call the council at 625-6255. Say it's in regard to "the proposed amendment to the city admission tax" and express your joy or (more likely) disgust.
David, Goliath and the Senator
Bad news: Our humble little low-power community radio station, KYRS, is going to have to change its frequency. Good news: It won't be pushed so far south as to serve only Rockford, Fairfield and the, like, 100 square miles of fallow land thereabouts. When Sandpoint-based "adult album alternative rock" (read: all Hootie, all the time) station KPND, which operates on 95.3 FM in Idaho (the same frequency as KYRS) announced that it was building a bigger tower closer to Spokane -- putting its signal in our area and thus causing crippling interference to KYRS and KPND -- Federal Communications Commissions rules were clear: KYRS had to move. Thankfully, though, Sen. Maria Cantwell (yeah, Senator Cantwell, not Congresswoman Cathy McMorris, who doesn't care about you) and others got the Congressional Research Service to recommend to the FCC that they simply let KYRS change their frequency, rather than making them move. The FCC agreed it was in the public interest to allow KYRS to continue broadcasting in this area so, come late November, KYRS will be moved to 89.9 FM.