'Hamilton,' other Broadway shows to get Tonys tonight
Hope to extend winnings by collecting continued theatrical tax break from Congress
Everyone connected to "Hamilton" will be raising a glass and singing that Schuyler Sisters lyric later tonight after Broadway's annual awards ceremony is complete.
The ground- and record-breaking musical is nominated for 16 Tony awards (yes, that's a new record, too).
The show about the $10 Founding Father likely won't set a new record for wins, in part because many of its actors are competing against each other. But it should take home the statuette for top musical.
And beyond the creative realm, Hamilton is already the big winner as far as making money.
Temporary theatrical tax help: Producers of other shows, both off-Broadway and along the Great White Way, are hoping they can transfer tonight's theatrical excitement 225 miles southwest.
They already are lobbying lawmakers in Washington, D.C., to continue a tax break that provides live-theater backers more deductions in a show's first year.
By accelerating deductions -- a tax benefit that perhaps was given a bit of a boost thanks to the attention "Hamilton" received while the Capitol Hill debate was going on -- investors pay tax on income only after a show turns a profit, rather than on phantom income early in a production's run.
But the tax break, which was included in tax extenders package that was signed into law last December, is only good through the 2016 tax year. Unless Congress renews it, it will expire on Jan. 1, 2017.
Getting it extended again, even for just a year or two, won't be easy.
Time to end, not extend, special tax breaks: Taxpayers for Common Sense says Broadway shouldn't get special treatment.
"Everyone has a pet provision that they try to load into the tax law," Steven Ellis, spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based group, told Bloomberg. "Why should a Broadway show, or television or movies, be considered different from any other business?"
The opposition to special tax breaks that have been part of extenders legislation for decades goes beyond creative endeavors.
Ellis also pointed to special-interest tax provisions for NASCAR tracks, race horse owners and rum producers in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
It's too early to predict whether the special tax measures and the sectors they benefit will continue beyond 2016.
But you can bet that all the industries affected will be borrowing another "Hamilton" theme and arguing that another year or two in the Internal Revenue Code would be enough.
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