Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Equity Calls for Tax Fairness for Arts Workers at Congressional Hearing

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

The House Committee on Small Business held a remote hearing about the creative economy on Wednesday in which Actors’ Equity Association (Equity) Secretary-Treasurer Sandra Karas testified on behalf of the union. “The arts and culture sector is responsible for 5.2 million jobs and 4.3% of GDP,” Karas pointed out. She explained how this industry has been especially hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and its recovery has been slower than many others.

Karas asked committee members to support the Performing Artist Tax Parity Act (H.R. 4750), a bill to create tax fairness by allowing arts workers to deduct their business expenses. “Performing artists pay a high percentage of their income on necessary out-of-pocket costs to look for work and stay current in the industry,” she said. “This bill is targeted to low income and middle class taxpayers, not the high earning stars.” Karas also called for passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act to strengthen unions in the arts sector.

This blog originally appeared at AFL-CIO on January 24, 2022

About the Authors: Kenneth Quinell is a Senior Writer at AFL-CIO.

Aaron Gallant is the Internal Communications Specialist at AFL-CIO

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Madeline Messa

Madeline Messa is a 3L at Syracuse University College of Law. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. With her legal research and writing for Workplace Fairness, she strives to equip people with the information they need to be their own best advocate.