This story has been updated.
Mayor Kasim Reed is pushing for a referendum to levy a 1/10 penny sales tax to fund arts and cultural programs in the city of Atlanta.
Reed announced the initiative during his Feb. 2 “State of the City Speech.”
“The Woodruff Arts Center just raised $110 million in its transformation campaign,” Reed said, according to the official transcript of the speech. “Woodruff leaders surpassed their goal by $10 million because they dared to dream bigger. And the City of Atlanta responded. You responded. With support from the Georgia General Assembly, my administration will pursue a one-tenth of a penny sales tax to fund a permanent and dedicated source of funding for the arts in the City of Atlanta. Today – right now – I am asking for your help and your support in November to ensure the arts community always thrives in Atlanta. This is important – listen up. Organizations like the Woodruff Arts Center are thriving, but our small and medium-sized groups, our young and emerging artists, need additional support. We need to give back to the creative community that gives so much to our City.”
If approved by the voters, the city sales tax rate would be 9 percent, the Business Chronicle reported. The new tax would be expected to bring in $10 to $15 million for arts funding each year. For the full story, click here.
Atlanta Loop sent a message to the mayor’s office seeking more details about the plan.
The idea of a 1/10 penny sales tax was raised in a 2012 cultural assessment report published by the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Metro Atlanta Arts and Culture Coalition. To read that report, click here.