State Dancing Tax Protested By Dancers

State Dancing Tax Protested By Dancers

Posted: Updated:
Olympia, WA -

Dozens of people protesting a decades-old state tax on dance venues swayed, kicked and twirled to the rhythm of music yesterday in support of a repeal being considered by lawmakers in Washington state.

Protesters danced the salsa, the blues, flamenco and tango, and at one point, a conga line snaked up and down the steps of the state Capitol. Koe Suzuteki performed the Charleston amid the groups who had gathered to dance in protest.

"Dance encourages social culture, getting into your body and being out in the town, spending money on local nightlife. It's a wonderful way to connect and it makes people smile," said the Seattle resident who goes dancing at least twice a week. "Why are those always the things that need to be taxed and pushed away?"

The dancers were targeting a law from the 1960s that levies a tax on businesses that offer attendees the "opportunity" to dance. Cover charges and tickets for movies, plays and concerts are exempt from that tax.

Proponents of the repeal say enforcement is arbitrary, targeting medium-sized venues or taverns, and not places like sports stadiums that often host concerts where people dance.

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