The Local Journalism Sustainability Act (HR3940) was reintroduced this month. This bipartisan bill directly addresses the critical components of the journalism ecosystem (readers, advertisers and journalists) and can provide meaningful support to your newspaper as our industry continues to evolve. This legislation currently has 18 co-sponsors including Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL-13).
The Local Journalism Sustainability Act proposes a series of three tax credits aimed at bolstering and sustaining local journalism. There are some limitations that can be found in the bill text that is attached but most of those limitations are not applicable to the majority of our members.
Local Newspaper Subscription Credit -This credit will grow publications’ subscription bases by incentivizing Americans to subscribe to local newspapers.
- Five-year credit of up to $250 annually.
- Credit covers 80% of subscription costs in first year and 50% in subsequent four years.
Local Newspaper Journalist Compensation Credit -This credit will provide publications the ability to hire more dedicated local news journalists to improve their newsroom coverage.
- Five-year credit of up to $25,000 in first year and up to $15,000 in subsequent four years.
- Credit covers 50% of compensation up to $50,000 in first year, and 30% of compensation up to $50,000 in subsequent four years.
- Journalist must meet a minimum of 100 hours of work per quarter to qualify as an eligible employee.
Local Newspaper and Local Media Advertising Credit -This credit will provide small business the financial flexibility to spend on advertising in local newspapers and media.
- Five-year credit of up to $5,000 in first year and up to $2,500 in subsequent four years.
- Credit covers 80% of advertising costs in first year and 50% in subsequent four years.
- To increase flexibility, small businesses (up to 50 employees) may utilize this credit to advertise with local television and radio stations, in addition to local newspapers.
Members of the House will be back in district for the 4th holiday. So now is the time to make these contacts to stress the importance of this legislation that would help us navigate these uncertain times. Your influence locally is critical as these are your elected officials. We have a proven record of getting support, as witnessed by being the only state to get its entire Congressional delegation to oppose the newsprint tariffs in 2018.
More information can be found in the attached document prepared by our friends at America’s Newspapers and on their site.
Please reach out to your elected officials to let them know the value of local journalism and that their support is needed and appreciated. If we can provide any assistance or additional information, let us know. Please keep us posted on your efforts.
Thanks for your attention to this urgent matter.