Baltimore Ticket Law Proposed

A Baltimore City Councilman has proposed a bill that would limit Ticketmaster convenience fees, which were recently ruled to amount to scalping according to local law.

Carl Stokes introduced a bill June 3 that would create a tiered system to cap fees on ticket prices.

The measure would limit fees to 15 percent of the first $50 of a ticket, an additional 10 percent for the next $50 to $150 and another 5 percent for amounts larger than that.

Though the bill is likely to draw some flak from ticket sellers, it’s miles away from the city’s existing law that defines service fees of more than 50 cents as scalping.

“An average ticket has a convenience fee for Ticketmaster of 22 to 25 percent,” Stokes told the Baltimore Sun. “The bill reduces the average by half.”

The bill would also require ticket sellers to disclose the complete price of a ticket including fees up front.

Officials passed a temporary measure in March to vacate the city’s fee ban in fear that promoters would just bypass Baltimore.

But Stokes thinks some venues are charging high convenience fees to get around the city’s arts and amusement tax that collects 10 percent from each ticket sold, the Sun reported.
“They don’t pay taxes on the convenience charges,” he said.