2022 National Issues Affecting Broadcasters:
- Congress should not pass legislation that hurts free, local broadcasting by modifying tax laws to make advertising more expensive for businesses. Advertising is currently treated as an ordinary and necessary business expense – just like salaries, rent and utilities – under the US Tax Code. This means a business can fully deduct the expense in the year it was incurred.
Diversity Tax Certificate Program:
- Broadcasters are committed to improving diversity in the industry and creating new opportunities for women, people of color and other underrepresented communities. Broadcasters support the Expanding Broadcast Ownership Opportunities Act of 2019 (H.R. 3957 & S. 2433) to encourage broadcast station ownership for women and people of color and to ensure station owners are as diverse as the communities they serve.
- Broadcasters support the Local Radio Freedom Act (LRFA), a resolution of Congress opposing any new performance royalty, fee, or tax on free, over-the-air radio such as that proposed by the recently introduced AM-FM Act. 225 bipartisan Reps & House and Senate have cosponsored the LRFA, but not any are from VT.
Preserving Local Journalism in the Age of Big Tech:
- The overwhelming power of big tech gatekeepers is threatening Americans’ access to quality local journalism. The size of the platforms, such as Google and Facebook, dwarf local TV and radio stations. Not only do these tech giants pose major threats to advertising revenue, but they are gatekeepers of online content, exerting power over what internet users access and how advertisers reach them. When big tech wins, local communities lose.
Support Passage of the Local Journalism Sustainability Act
- Sen. Maria Cantwell (WA), chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, recently introduced the Local Journalism Sustainability Act (S. 2434), along with Sen. Ron Wyden (OR), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and Sen. Mark Kelly (AZ). This legislation would establish tax incentives that would provide much-needed relief for local newsrooms. Specifically, this legislation would create a targeted tax credit for the hiring and retention of local journalists, as well as a tax credit for businesses to advertise with local broadcast radio and TV stations and newspapers.