Ballroom holds benefit to raise funds for dance tax

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SEATTLE —

A fundraising event was held Saturday night at a Capitol Hill dance hall to help pay for a dance tax bill.

 

 Century Ballroom owes $92,000 to the state Department of Revenue in back taxes, and the owner has to pay the bill off in a couple months.

 

The state said it is required to collect a tax on tickets or cover charges at venues, where customers are given the opportunity to dance.

 

Saturday was Century Ballroom’s Sweet 16 celebration and the event was made a benefit as well by asking for donations to help pay the bill off.

 

Owner Hallie Kuperman told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News she thought she was paying the right taxes.

 

“We are having a big party and saying, ‘Thank You.’ And at the same time, asking for something from them that we were not expecting to have to ask,” Kuperman said.

 

After several Seattle nightclubs were hit with the back tax bills, state lawmakers are looking to remove it from the tax code.

 

 “I didn’t know it existed. We called the Department of Revenue. We’ve been paying everything status quo and we’ve never had a problem. This came out of the blue really for us,” Kuperman said. “I will be shocked if it doesn’t change. I will be shocked. Everybody I have spoken to, that includes the DOR, friends and family, political people. Nobody thinks there should be a dance tax, period.”

 

State senate leader Ed Murray told KIRO 7 that he thinks the tax should go.

 

“There’s about seven people in this state who have $110 billion worth of income that we don’t tax. There are people that we can tax who are not paying taxes and I think that makes more sense than taxing the possibility that someone might dance,” said Murray.

 

The State Department of Revenue said it is the responsibility of business owners to know what taxes they need to pay. 

 

Kuperman told KIRO 7 that 816 people came out to Saturday's event.