Saturday, March 01, 2008

Artists and Taxes

I was listening to this story on NPR on tax break for artists and it got me thinking about the many creative indeed "artistic" ways this could be misused. Talk about the road to hell being paved with good intentions. Surely, a work of art is worth much more than the time and material that goes into creating it and that must be factored into the tax break amount.

It does defy commonsense that the buyer of an artwork who donates it to a museum gets a tax break equivalent to the market price of the piece of art when the artist doing the same gets credit for little more than material plus labor.

There was talk of fair market value, independent assessment and such to make sure the system would not be gamed. Yet despite the checks and balances, it very well could be simply because the operating definitions of art and fair maket value are vague at best.

Would it not make more sense to create a micro-credit or even better micro-patronage system for artists that could stand in for the royal patronage that they could once count on. Maybe transfer the tax break to citizens who were willing to patronize an artist or an artistic guild.

No comments: