Coachella 2014 Not in Danger as Indio Backs Off Proposed Tax
The Indio, Calif. City Councilman that proposed a new tax on Coachella tickets has abandoned the idea after organizers threatened to move the popular festival to a different location if the tax was enacted.
Earlier this week, Councilman Sam Torres suggested a five-to-10 percent admission tax of tickets to the festival, which has been held in Indio every year since its inception in 1999. The proposed tax would have went into effect for the 2014 festival. Paul Tollett, president of Goldenvoice, the company that presents both Coachella and its country sibling Stagecoach, immediately said the festival would move if the tax was even put on a ballot.
“If the tax initiative of putting $4 million to $6 million onto Coachella gets on the ballot we’re going to take off 2014,” Tollett said. “2015 we’ll be at a new facility outside of Indio.”
Tollett’s figures are based on estimates that the tax would be around $36 per ticket. Since he did not plan to pass that cost onto the more than 2,500 ticket-buyers, the tax would cost Goldenvoice $4 million to $6 million. At this year’s festival that was held in April, fans paid a minimum of $349 for a weekend pass, and the festival sold out within two hours after going on sale.
But yesterday, Torres said he would “suspend” his plan.
“I cannot in good conscience allow this to happen no matter how dire the city’s circumstance,” Torres said via a press release. “My sincere hope is that we can now move past this episode and I personally look forward to working to enhance relationships.”
He also told an NBC station that, “I don’t take a threat by Paul Tollett lightly,” going on to say that, “No matter how strongly I may feel about this tax, I’ll not jeopardize the livelihoods of working families.”
The press release also points out that Goldenvoice has brought “millions of dollars of revenue to support the local community” in Indio.