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Burning Man Is Getting Taxed for the First Time Ever

2 minute read

Heads up, Burning Man fans: Your tickets to the annual out-of-this-world desert shindig might be about to get more expensive.

Lawmakers eliminated loopholes in Nevada’s live entertainment tax, which previously allowed festivals like Burning Man escape any government-mandated fees, Bloomberg reports. The tax was originally targeted at cabaret performances and burlesque dancing.

A 9% charge will now be added on tickets for festivals like Burning Man and the Electric Daisy Carnival, which both cost about $400 a pop. The tax will also apply to “pickup fees” for escort services, though prostitutes at Nevada’s 24 legal brothels don’t fall under this new levy group.

“There’s no better venue in the world than Southern Nevada to conduct an event like Electric Daisy Carnival and there’s no better place than the desert of Northern Nevada for an event like Burning Man,” State Senator Mark Lipparelli, a Las Vegas Republican who sponsored the bill, told Bloomberg. “We like them as businesses and we want them to keep coming here. We also want to improve education in Nevada.”

The live entertainment tax was expected to generate about 4.3% of the state’s $6.3 billion two-year budget covering 2015 to 2017 before this change. Analysts haven’t run numbers on the yield expected from the updated version, but expect it will be similar.

Festival promoters for Burning Man — which attracts many of the tech elite every year — and Electric Daisy Carnival weren’t happy about the new fees. Spokespeople for the two events called it “short-sighted” and “detrimental to our industry,” pointing out that the fetes generate huge sums for Nevada’s economy every year.

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