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      D.C. budget: Arts tax proposal dropped

      WASHINGTON (AP) - A controversial sales tax on live performances at Washington's arts organizations has been dropped from the District of Columbia's approved budget.

      Mayor Vincent Gray's budget plan had included the 6 percent tax on ticket sales. The budget approved Wednesday by the D.C. Council eliminated the measure.

      Groups including Arena Stage, the Helen Hayes Awards and Cultural Tourism D.C. have been fighting the tax proposal. The arts groups said they would lose audience members and revenue. They said the city's budget should not be balanced on the backs of nonprofit arts groups.

      Federal institutions, such as the Kennedy center and Smithsonian Institution theaters would have been exempt.