Media Groups, Companies Applaud Tax Reform Bill Passage

Media trade associations were praising the passage of tax reform legislation Wednesday that lowers the corporate tax rate but retains the ability of broadcasters to immediately write-off ad expenses rather than having to amortize them.

The Senate had voted the bill Tuesday night after the House had voted it. But there were a few technical issues that required a re-vote in the House Wednesday (Dec. 20).

The corporate tax rate goes from 35% to 21%, one percent higher than the House bill originally planned, but that hardly dampened the enthusiasm.

“NAB congratulates Congress on the passage of comprehensive tax reform legislation that aims to further grow the U.S. economy. In particular, local TV and radio stations and our network broadcast partners salute leaders of Congress for recognizing the importance of advertising as a principal driver of commerce by preserving the full and immediate deductibility of advertising expenses. Advertising is an undeniable stimulus for robust growth that has helped America lead the world in the creation of high-paying jobs.”

“The MPAA congratulates Congress on the passage of comprehensive tax reform legislation. H.R. 1 will promote further economic growth across American industries, including the U.S.," said Motion Picture Association of America Chairman Charles Rivkin. "This legislation will advance our nation’s global competitiveness and encourage additional investment at home.”

AT&T reminded Washington policymakers that it has promised to boost its capital spending by $1 billion--and also promised to provide $1,000 bonuses to 200,000 employees before Christmas if the President signs the bill fast enough--given the bottom line boost of the tax bill.

“Congress, working closely with the President, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by U.S. businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “This tax reform will drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs. In fact, we will increase our U.S. investment and pay a special bonus to our U.S. employees.”

President Trump has said the cut would benefit workers and the economy, not just shareholders and executive pay packages.

Tech association ITI was also applauding.

“The 1980s were a great decade, but we are overdue for bringing our tax policy into the 21st Century,” said ITI president Dean Garfield. “We commend the House and the Senate for their work on this important legislation."

Among the things it liked most was lowering the corporate tax rate and retaining the R&D credit and keeping it a permanent credit.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.