Letter: Merry Christmas for the State Theatre?

It was the week before Christmas and the State Theatre advocates want to trim their trees with promises of tax treats from the Town of Culpeper.

After weeks of impassioned pleas for more money from the people of Culpeper, and promises that no money would be asked of the town or county governments, something has appeared on the Public Safety, Public Works, Planning and Community Development Committee agenda.

The committee will discuss The State Theatre at Council Member Rimeikis’ request.

Is this a deal to promise money from the town to supplement the State Theatreâ??s income? Is this a deal to provide a cut of the 6 percent meals tax to the State Theatre? Or, maybe this is a proposal to revoke the meals tax, to encourage more meals in town and thereby improve the attendance at the State Theatre? Only those in the elite circle know the answer. As spokespeople for the State Theatre have said, â??They only collect half the operational costs from tickets and fees.The rest has to come from contributions.â??The arts have never been self-sufficient; the arts have always required a substantial donor base. If the State Theatre proponents want additional tax cuts, beyond the nominal $40,000 per year in property taxes that they do not pay, then the elites of the town are raiding the town treasury.

Should the Town Council members realize that the 6 percent meals and admissions taxes are hurting the commerce of Culpeper, and in particular the State Theatre, then it is time to remove the taxes. Now that would be a Christmas present for all of Culpeper, town and county.

And that would be for all a good night.

Kurt Christensen

Editorâ??s Note: The Culpeper Times was on an early deadline this week. The paper went to press prior to the townâ??s Public Safety, Public Works, Planning and Community Development Committee meeting which was held late Tuesday afternoon.