The proposed ad tax was the subject of much lively and chaotic discussion by the DC City Council Tuesday. According to AAF:  “It is very apparent that there is substantial opposition to the tax by many Councilmembers.  Their dilemma is in finding $18 million in offsetting revenue or budget cuts that would allow them to eliminate the ad tax. In a somewhat controversial move, the Council approved a motion by Chair Mendelson to delay consideration of the tax for a day or two and ask the city’s budget office staff for a list of small across the board cuts that would total $18 million.

“There is still no guarantee that the cuts will be approved and it is possible that a Councilmember may try to have the motion reversed before the Council adjourns later this evening.  We know that many advocates are urging the Council to pass the budget as is, including the ad tax.”

According to AAF, it is urgent that Councilmembers continue to hear from the advertising and business community about the important of eliminating the ad tax.  Please contact them today through email and Twitter.

In related news:

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is urging the D.C. Council to reject a proposed three percent tax that the council is considering on all advertising.  In a letter to the D.C. Council, she cautions “small businesses have already suffered significant losses.”

The Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Press Association (MDDC) sent out an “ACTION NEEDED” email stating that D.C.’s City Council on Tuesday, July 7, granted preliminary approval of “a new, devastating 3% sales tax on advertising and sales of personal information.  This new tax would be levied on the planning, creation, placement, and display of advertising in print, broadcast, and digital media.  Fearing a public outcry, the Council released the new $26 million annual tax less than 18 hours before unanimously voting in favor of it.  The Council will vote on the appropriations for funding on Tuesday, July 21.

“This is a wide-ranging definition of advertising, and it includes sales of personal information.  A 3% tax on advertising will hurt media, businesses, charities and consumers.  Your action is needed immediately!

“Educate yourself on the implications of this tax.  We have prepared talking points for your use.   Click here for more information about the economic effect of advertising in the District.

“Reach out to D.C. City Council members (even if you don’t live or work in D.C., you may have to pay the ad tax).  Use this link to connect with all 13 Council members.  Ask your staffers, advertisers and partners to weigh in as well.

“Editorialize about the damage this tax will do to businesses and consumers.  Click here for the MDDC / MCDC / AAF editorial.”

MDDC urged people to “Spread the word. Send an email to your advertising agency partners alerting them to this tax.  They will be affected because the tax will also be levied on planning, creation and placement of advertising.”

In addition:

ASAE and a coalition of other business groups in the nation’s capital are urging the DC Council to reconsider the proposed  sales tax on advertising that could impact any company or industry that advertises in the District. More here.

The Washington Blade and Tagg magazine, which cover issues of interest to lesbians of color, have joined the Washington Informer, one of D.C.’s two African-American newspapers, in calling on the D.C. Council to drop the proposed sales tax on advertising.  More here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.