Shocked that city is imposing tax on Centerstage

A complete picture of Centerstage has not been provided.

After reading Mayor Jim Ferrell’s Memo in the Aug. 31 issue of the Federal Way Mirror, I felt it was necessary to respond to clarify the facts. As Mayor Ferrell has stated: “Passing along rumors without regard to the complete story is counterproductive and only serves to divide our community.”

A complete picture of Centerstage has not been provided. As a former Centerstage board member and a significant donor, I feel that Centerstage’s role in Federal Way must be properly reported as there seems to be a misunderstanding about the Centerstage contract with the city.

Centerstage is a nonprofit organization that was hired by Federal Way for the past nine years to manage the theatre space, overseeing rentals and providing necessary staff for smooth operation of the theatre. I understand and accept the fact that Federal Way has the right to continue to hire Centerstage or not, and has opted not to continue Centerstage overseeing the Dumas Bay Center.

For Centerstage to continue to use the Dumas Bay Center, the city is imposing financial conditions that are difficult for them to meet. The appearance is that the city is trying to obtain money from Centerstage to help offset the significant losses occurred from the Performing Arts and Event Center. It shocks me that the city is now imposing an admittance tax on each ticket to a Centerstage event. Nonprofits are exempt from this tax, but special attention was made to tax Centerstage, a non-profit organization.

I have enjoyed the various performances at Centerstage over the past 12 years, and would hate to see Centerstage close or leave Federal Way as it has been a great investment for Federal Way over the years.

Dr. Michael Barclay

Federal Way