Last August, Chicago's Cook County attempted to increase taxes on small to mid-size venues that hosted rock and roll, country, electronic, and hip-hop shows. Deeming that these events did not constitute as "fine art", Cook County angered music fans by trying to objectively define a subjective concept – precisely what constitutes as fine art, and why did Cook County have that authority.

The dust has settled and Marc Hogan has the story.

In August, Cook County, the municipality that includes Chicago, proposed new legislation seeking to clear up a local debate over whether rock, rap, and electronic music count as art when it comes to tax laws.

Today, Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey announced an agreement on a rule change that would settle the question by recognizing live music and DJ sets as art forms. Other sides agreeing to the deal include Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s administration, representatives from the City of Chicago, and industry stakeholders, according to a press release from Fritchey’s office. A hearing on the amendment to the county's amusement tax ordinance is scheduled for October 26.

Fritchey said in the release: “This agreement 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, and that fact is bolstered by President Preckwinkle’s desire to co-sponsor my amendment. By bringing together public officials and music industry representatives, we were able to arrive at language that all parties agree recognizes the diverse and robust nature of live music while providing the County with the ability to collect those taxes that are legitimately owed to it.”


Read the full story by Marc Hogan at Pitchfork

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