Saturday, November 27, 2010

Raising Taxes for the Detroit Symphony, Cont.

I found a couple of people weighing in on the proposal to raise property taxes for the Detroit Symphony, which has been on strike for almost two months now. Bottom line for both: this would be a quick fix with little long-term benefit.

The Detroit News opined as such:
Musicians rejected a sweetened offer last week, saying the pay reductions it still demanded would compromise the quality of the orchestra. That seems a specious claim, considering that work rules in their contract make it almost impossible to fire a musician whose skills have waned. This contract fight is about the long-term viability of the DSO; taxpayers would do the orchestra no favor by approving a bailout before the tough decisions are made. 
After arguing why governments should support cultural institutions, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra conductor Bill Eddins makes a similar point:
Cultural Heritage tax proposals tend to embolden the opposition who thinks that the Arts aren’t important to a healthy social system.  And even if the proposed tax passes in the Detroit area I worry that it would just paper over the very real systemic issues that the DSO has been dealing with.  Just throwing more money at it does not a solution make.