State broadcasters protest Camp ad deduction proposal


US Congress50 state broadcast organizations have written to House leaders urging them to refrain from any changes in the deductibility of advertising as a business expense. “As advertising is the life blood for local radio and television stations, any change to deductibility would deal an enormous financial blow to this country’s local broadcasters,” they wrote.

The letter went to Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-MI) and Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI), with a lengthy list of other notable House members copied, including Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Ranking Member Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and many more.

“Advertising has long been recognized and protected as an essential part of daily business operations since the Tax Code was adopted,” they wrote. “For 100 years, advertising has been treated as an ordinary and necessary expense of doing business, no different than the costs of employee salaries, rent and utilities.”

They pointed out that advertising makes up about 95% of the income broadcasters earn, and is a necessary financial underpinning for the provision of “vital news, emergency information and high quality entertainment to their local communities free of charge.”

And it’s not just broadcasters and their audiences that benefit. They pointed out, “Moreover, the stimulant effect of advertising locally on Main Street and more globally on the larger US economy is undeniable. Nationwide, broadcast stations generate more than $986 billion in economic activity and support 1.38 million jobs in all sectors, including auto dealers, banks, retail stores, and real estate brokers, among many others.”

All 50 state broadcast associations signed the letter. They are organized under the banner of the National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations.