Important National Debate on Tax Reform Preserves Advertising Expense Deduction—So Far


WASHINGTON—An important national debate on reform of the federal tax code was initiated today by House of Representatives leadership. It appears that the first versions of the bill recognize the critical importance of encouraging economic growth through advertising, according to National Newspaper Association President Susan Rowell, publisher of the Lancaster News, Lancaster, SC. But she warns that the debate has just begun and taxes on advertising are still possible.

The bill, HR 1, contains a general framework for sweeping changes in federal taxes. Among them are a continued ability for small businesses to deduct interest on business loans and a doubling of the exemption for estate taxes. Both of these are important to small newspapers.

But the bill is only a first, but key step. A lowering of corporate taxes generally is causing the House leadership to promote many changes that create tax increases in other ways. To avoid an impact on the federal deficit, the House and Senate bill sponsors will continue to seek ways to implement new taxes.

“NNA will look at the overall impact of this 429 page bill to determine the consequences for community newspapers,” Rowell said. “We want policy that protects journalism and encourages growth in our local communities, particularly America’s small towns. Vigilance over the importance of advertising as a tool to spur growth is absolutely essential as our Senators and Representatives feel the pressure of many taxpayers over the portents of new tax liabilities. Our mission is to preserve, protect and promote community newspapers, and we pledge our support for both House and Senate as leadership continues its work.

NNA represents about 2,000 members, primarily weekly and small daily newspapers in America’s small towns. It was established in 1835 and maintains offices in Springfield, IL, and Falls Church, VA.