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Letter: Proposal could rein in greedy ticket brokers

Proposal could rein in greedy ticket brokers

Reading about the way high-profile concert tickets are sold makes me wonder how the performers must feel when a face-value ticket jumps from $100 to $1,000 or more. There’s a whole class of middlemen in the form of ticket brokers who are usurping the process to make huge profits, while the artist’s profits are far less. I would think that Paul McCartney should be compensated for the full value of the tickets sold throughout the reseller markets. Then when a broker gets 10 times the face value for a ticket, so would McCartney. And what about the sales tax on these brokered tickets? Are the brokers paying taxes on the huge capital gains they are making?

Here is what I suggest. Part of the transaction between a broker and a buyer includes the buyer reporting the purchase price and source to the promoter. A $100 ticket selling for $1,000 means that the promoter goes back to the broker for a significant portion of the sale price and gives the money to the artist. The promoter reports the sales to the state taxation authorities, so they can collect taxes on the transaction. In Erie County that $1,000 sale would generate about $80 in tax revenues.

The benefit of my plan is that it removes the incentive for brokers to stockpile tickets and inflate the price, precluding the average fan from buying tickets at face value. Without that incentive, we all have a better chance to buy tickets at reasonable prices.

Dan Bailey

East Aurora