American Advertising Federation of Baltimore President Matt McDermott, American Advertising Federation EVP of Government Affairs Clark Rector, and MDDC Press Association Executive Director Rebecca Snyder offered testimony in Annapolis this week opposing Maryland Senate Bill 2 – Tax on Digital Advertising.

AAFB Legislative Chair Attorney Cynthia Sanders and PR Chair Ashlene Larson of Planit as well as AAFB member Mission Media’s Todd Harvey and Sean Brescia and GKV’s David Blum were part of the group representing the industry.

The tax would apply to businesses that make money from digital advertising. The rate would range from 2.5% to 10%, based on the total amount of digital advertising revenue, according to a report in The Baltimore Sun.

An op-ed on the proposed tax on digital advertising stated: “[T]he impact of this legislation, if enacted, will never touch the digital media platforms themselves, and make no mistake, the ripple effect will be catastrophic.

“The bill is attempting to snipe global media behemoths for quick cash. Instead, it waves a bazooka in their general direction, leaving room for severe collateral damage to our business throughout the region.”

The bill is one of the first to be introduced in the state Senate and is sponsored by Senate President Emeritus Thomas V. Mike Miller, with Senate President Bill Ferguson as a co-sponsor. Miller, a Calvert County Democrat, described the legislation as a “massive bill” that Ferguson asked him to sponsor, according to The Sun.

“This is going to be an important initiative for the budget committee to look through to see if it makes sense to tie to the revenues for our investments in a 21st-century education,” said Ferguson, a Baltimore Democrat, in the Sun story.

In photo from AAFB’s LinkedIn page, left to right: Sean Brescia, Ashlene Larson, Todd Harvey, Matt McDermott, Clark Rector, Cynthia Sanders, Rebecca Snyder

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