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Debate Info

11
4
Most definately No way
Debate Score:15
Arguments:12
Total Votes:15
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 Most definately (9)
 
 No way (3)

Debate Creator

DaWolfman(3322) pic



Should museum entry be free?

Most definately

Side Score: 11
VS.

No way

Side Score: 4
2 points

Museums preserve and display our artistic, social, scientific and political heritage. Everyone should have access to such important cultural resources as part of active citizenship, and because of the educational opportunities they offer to people of every age. Free access is essential to provide freedom of cultural and educational opportunity.

Museums have a valuable role in preserving and showing a nation’s history and heritage to new generations. Free access will encourage more people to find out about their country and help to promote feelings of national unity and identity, while promoting greater understanding and acceptance of foreign cultures.

Side: Most definately
1 point

If enough funding to keep a museum running can be pried from a budget, then it should be free.

If this is impossible, which it usually is, than the minumum charge possible should be put into effect to ensure its doors remain open.

Side: Most definately
1 point

St. Louis, MO has been paying for its zoo and museums out of a minimal property tax assessment since 1972. Next to San Diego's, its zoo is one of the best in the country . . . and it's free.

Free to school classes, free to the poor, free to large families . . . just free, for everybody. Art museum, history museum, science center -- also free. It's something St. Louis is quite proud of.

I lived in St. Louis, where the zoo is free; and I lived in San Diego, where the zoo is $35. I visited the San Diego Zoo a couple of times. But I spent most of my teenage summers at the St. Louis Zoo . . . because I could; it's free.

You know who you don't see too much of at the San Diego Zoo? Local families. And it's not surprising, seeing as you'd have to spend $140 plus parking just to get a family of four through the front gate. Add snacks, a train ride, and a stuffed polar bear and you've just spent over $200 on a day at the zoo.

St. Louis Zoo has several surrounding picnic areas and welcomes picnickers . . . and did I mention that it's free? So if you pack your picnic, even if you do pop for the zoo train, a family of 4 pays $10 and not $200 for a day at the zoo.

I can see charging tourists for admission. Tourists go places with the intention of paying money to do local cultural bullcrap, and they aren't supporting that particular ensemble of bullcrap with their tax dollars, so if you want to charge the out-of-towners I can see where that makes sense. But local folks should be able to take advantage of their regional museums and similar cultural attractions (like zoos) without having to pay an admissions fee.

Side: Most definately
1 point

Although I think not every museum should be free (barometer museums for example) I think they are generally educational, and I think that education should be provided to everyone. The Natural History Museum, Imperial War Museum, Science Museum, British Museum and the V&A;are all excellent museums, and are all free (much to the amazement of most of my foreign friends who have visited them).

Side: Most definately
1 point

The zoo preserves our cultural and scientific history. Even though we would pays less taxes if the zoo charges an entry fee, we would pay more money while at the zoo. Consider the fact that we do have an entry fee, because of all the attractions at the zoo plus the entry fee. So an average family would spend around 150 to 200 dollars every time they went there. How would you expect people from out of country to get enough education to become an American citizen?

Side: Most definately

If it is a public museum, there should be no entrance fee.

Side: Most definately
2 points

Where is the funding coming from for museums? If its private, then I wouldn't care if it was free or not. If its government, we need some type of revenue to start curbing the $11.2 trillion deficit. :)

Side: NO WAY
Banshee(288) Disputed
2 points

In St. Louis, where the museums and zoos all have free admission because they are tax-supported, the ZMD (zoo-museum district) tax assessment ranges from between 3 and 6 cents per $100 of assessed property valuation. That means that if you own a $300,000 home, your household pays a grand total of somewhere between $90 and $180 a year to support the museums and the zoo. That's still less than a single day's visit to the San Diego Zoo for a family of four -- and for that money St. Louis allows you, and everyone else, to visit all the attractions, as often as you like. So the tax burden of financing the museums out of municipal or state funds would be extremely minimal, and the benefits -- both to residents and to businesses in terms of maintaining a culturally attractive and competitive city -- are considerable.

Side: Most definately
1 point

And did I mention that St. Louis' "cultural district assessment," as minimal as it is, is still much steeper than most cities who have similar, successful assessment programs -- AND that all five of the institutions supported by the ZMD tax are world-class and considered among the best in the country?

:)

"These institutions used to be fairly decent, middle of the road institutions. Now two of them are among the best in the entire world. The three others are now among the best in the country . . . There is a degree of excellence that would not have been possible in these institutions were it not for this tax . . . You have not had to ask one rich person for a bequest in order to make that happen. That is simply what is received from the voters of St. Louis, so these institutions have become terrific."

-- "The St. Louis Zoo-Museum District," Perspectives on Cultural Tax Districts (2008), http://www.westaf.org/Perspectives_on_Cultural_Tax_Districts_WESTAF_2008.PDF

Side: Most definately
asdf789(349) Disputed
1 point

That sounds pretty good, but then again, that is only St. Louis. What about the rest of the nation? Do they do the same too?

Side: NO WAY
1 point

I suppose ideally museums ought to be free for everyone, but in reality people are probably not going to donate anywhere close to enough money to adequately fund museums, pay for security, maintain collections, ect.

Side: NO WAY