Burning Man organizers have sued the US Bureau of Land Management to recover millions of dollars claiming that the government has paid them over the last seven years for fees to celebrate cultural culture in the Nevada desert.
Black Rock City LLC, a nonprofit that produces the Burning Man Annual Event, filed a lawsuit on December 13 in the US District Court in Washington.
The organizers informed Reno Gazette that they were tired of waiting for the past four years until the bureau provided justification for nearly $ 3 million billed annually for permission to organize 80,000 people in the Black Rock Desert about 100 kilometers (160 kilometers). ) north of Reno.
“This case is our attempt to interrupt this cycle,” said Burning Man spokeswoman Megan Miller.
Burning Man seeks “relief from the ongoing, illegal and harmful conduct of defendants against the company (Black Rock City LLC), which threatens the viability of the Burning Man iconic event,” the lawsuit said.
Officials of the Agriculture Office did not respond immediately to the Associated Press’s request for comments.
In recent years, Black Rock City has been required to pay BLM, which provides law enforcement and oversight at this event, for services and expenses.
In addition, the Group is required to pay a gross income tax of 3% or part of its income. In 2018, organizers reported event revenue of nearly $ 44 million.
Earlier this year, Black Rock City hired London lobbyists Holland and Knight to engage in battles with federal officials, namely federal officials and the Home Office.
Over the past four years, Black Rock City has filed six appeals challenging what it claims to be disproportionate and ineligible costs.
Since 2012, according to court proceedings, BLM costs have increased, although BLM has not provided justification for the increased costs.
In 2012, Burning Man organizers paid BLM expenses of nearly $ 1.4 million, an increase of 60% year-on-year, although the number of people living in events this year increased by only 4% according to lawsuits. The following year, according to a lawsuit, the same bill was $ 2.9 million.
Black Rock City lawyers said the cost of the charge increased by 291% in three years and the Burning Man population increased by 39%.
In 2019, the organization paid approximately $ 2.9 million for the event, without any commercial use charges.
In accordance with court proceedings, the organization seeks to exempt ‘this broken and disproportionately burdensome model and practice’ carried out by the specifically authorizing district, the Winnemucca district, of the Land Administration.
The organizers are either forced to “accept the fees and conditions of the BLM, however disproportionate, or cancel the already scheduled Burning Man event”, the action said.