Restoration of the minority tax certificate is the number one priority of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council as it pursues its goal, which it says is “nothing less than the complete eradication of racial discrimination and its present effects from the nation’s most influential and important industries – mass media and telecommunications.”
“The tax certificate policy did more to advance minority broadcast ownership than any other policy in the history of the FCC,” says MMTC. “Since the program’s repeal in 1995, minority media ownership has stagnated. MMTC supports legislation that would restore the tax certificate policy and extend it to telecommunications.”
MMTC is looking toward Congress, the FCC and the White House for action. It is interested in effective definitions and enforcement of EEO regulation; technical improvements to the Communications Act that would help promote minority telecommunications ownership, removing third-adjacency protection to allow for more LPFMs; reallocate television channels 5 & 6 to expand FM radio service; effective enforcement of new regulations banning No Urban and No-Hispanic Dictates; assurance that emergency broadcasts will go out on a multilingual basis; and many others.
RBR/TVBR observation: We understand that Charles Rangel (D-NY), who chairs the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, is thinking about holding a hearing on the certificates. This is one tool which seems to enjoy universal approval – minority activists love it, and since it’s a tax break, the most die-hard free-market capitalists also love it. Yet it has been perpetually stalled on Capitol Hill. We recommend that broadcasters make a concerted effort to get this back on the table in 2009, if not earlier.