Chicago’s Government Says Country Music Isn’t ‘Art’
The local government of Cook County, IL., home to Chicago, has made a controversial ruling by creating their own definition for the word 'art.' According to a new ruling, while music is technically art, genres like rock, country and rap are not.
Events that do qualify as “fine art” under the county code are live theater, opera, drama, comedy, ballet, modern or traditional dance, and book or poetry readings.
If a venue books an act whose genre is not recognized by the county as fine art, they aren’t eligible for the county’s 3 percent amusement tax break.
This new ruling could hurt small venues with a max capacity of 750 that host musical concerts and have been taking that 3 percent tax break for years. Why, because Cook County is now going back six years to penalize venues whose musical acts didn’t qualify as “fine art.” The county is reportedly seeking as much as $200,000 from some of these venues.
Many business owners and residents feel like the rules were changed all of a sudden in an attempt to snatch up more tax money! For now, county officials are standing by their decision.