Senator Proposes Tax Break to Preserve Local News

By:
Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jul 26, 2021
iStock-451305545 News Reporter Microphone Interview Question

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) has proposed a bill that would create a series of tax credits aimed at helping preserve local news media, an already-battered industry that saw major damage over the course of the pandemic, the Seattle Times reported. The bill, called the Local Journalism Sustainability Act of 2021, would provide tax credits up to $250 for subscribers of local newspapers, as well as up to $5,000 for small businesses that buy advertising in local newspapers, radio and television stations. Local media outlets themselves could also get credits to subsidize the hiring and retention of journalists. (The credits would go up to $25,000 for each hire in the first year in which the bill is enacted, and $15,000 for the remainder of the program).The program itself would last for five years. 

The bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), is very similar to another measure sponsored in the House by Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) and Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.). 

The Seattle Times noted that about 37,000 journalists have lost their jobs, been furloughed or taken pay cuts since the pandemic began. 

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