July 16, 2020 at 1:00 pm EDT | by Steve Nicklin
Unintended consequences of proposed ad tax

All jurisdictions are struggling under today’s challenging economic times, and an examination of additional funding sources is prudent. However, the proposed tax on advertising should receive a full evaluation before the DC City Council takes any action. Here are important issues for the Council to consider:

A new tax on advertising would create a negative economic impact on local publications and news outlets like the Washington Blade.

Diminishing the viability of these forms of journalism could erode accountability of government, police, and others in authority at a time when it is critically needed.

A new tax on advertising would increase expenses of small businesses struggling to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, and very likely impact workers in the District who create, design, and sell advertising for a living.

The DC Council should carefully consider the pending advertising taxation proposal would have on public accountability, journalism, and small businesses. There are better ways to address the city’s financial needs than placing additional burdens on small business owners during a volatile economic crisis.

Steve Nicklin is a resident of D.C.

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