Benjamin R. Freed reports that a plan to institute a five percent tax on concessions at movie theaters—-which in large part will help pay for a movie theater in Ward 7 or 8—-is catching some flak from theater owners:

Currently, like concessions sold at other venues like stadiums and concert halls, the District’s standard sales tax of 10 percent is built in to the listed prices of movie theater snacks. But movie theaters and some District policymakers are cool to the idea.

Yesterday, Josh Levin, who runs the West End Cinema, told Arts Desk that with customers already lukewarm toward concession prices, the prospect of having to collect an additional 5 percent sales tax “would impact us negatively.” But with the cost of a combination of, say, a medium soda and a sack of popcorn big enough to last through the end of the first act, at $11, Green says that an additional 5 percent (55 cents in that example) “is not a lot in addition” to what a customer is already paying. Still, movie theaters say, the cost would be felt.

“It’s our feeling that a concession tax would be a disincentive to someone opening a theater,” says Todd Halstead, NATO’s deputy director of government affairs. “It is misdirected and unfair to tax movie theaters that contribute to the district’s economy to subsidize a direct competitor.”

Photo by Norwichnuts via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution Generic 2.0 License