Nevada Legislators Look at Burning Man: If It Burns, Tax It!


Burning Man,  the annual experimental temporary city of over 50,000 attendees dedicated to art and community, already kicks over $4 million a year of its ticket price to various local, state, and federal governing authorities in Nevada, where the event is held.

But Nevada politcians gaze on its lucrative splendors and wonder: why can't we get more?

The Las Vegas Sun reports:

Some Democratic legislative leaders are looking at the ticket proceeds and wondering why the state doesn't get a cut.

"It's how many people and they pay how much?" Senate Majority Leader Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, said. "I definitely think we ought to look at that."

That's the spirit of government, right there: someone is making money somewhere, and we need to look into how we get some. There should be statues to Rep. Denis in every legislature in the land, speaking that truth so bluntly and strongly.

Denis wants to try to impose the state's standard 5 percent live entertainment tax on the event, though it doesn't really qualify as paid entertainment (for the most part, the attendees are responsible for entertaining themselves) and even though the law as currently written does not apply to outdoor events.

I wrote the first narrative history of Burning Man, This is Burning Man, back in 2004. I wrote about the event's relationship with the government in a Reason cover story in 2000.