New Jersey Broadcasters: Ad Deductibility Changes Could Be Crippling

The New Jersey Broadcasters Association has warned Congress against changing or eliminating a business's ability to deduct the full cost of advertising in the year those costs are incurred. 

Such a change—as part of larger tax reforms being considered by Congress and pushed by the Donald Trump administration—should be rejected, said association president Paul Rotella in a letter to Senate Finance Committee chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and ranking member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

Not only would that be a hardship for businesses, said Rotella, but "as advertising is the lifeblood for local radio and television stations—any change to deductibility would deal a crippling financial blow to New Jersey’s local broadcasters, as well." 

Pointing out that for broadcasters, advertising is the primary and sometimes only source of revenue with which to support vital news and emergency information, free of charge to the consumer, "creating a disincentive to advertise has real consequences on the ability of New Jersey’s broadcast stations to serve their communities with local programming and contribute to their hometown economies."

Broadcasters have allies on the Hill in the pushback. In May, a bipartisan contingent of more than a quarter of the membership of the House of Representatives called on congressional leadership—in this case the House speaker and minority leader—not to institute the deductibility change.

The National Association of Broadcasters, NCTA: The Internet & Television Association and others have also banded together to push back on any attempt to limit or eliminate the deductibility of the full amount of ad expenses in the year they were incurred as part of broader-based tax reform.

(Photo via Pictures of Money's FlickrImage taken on Sept. 17, 2015 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 9x16 aspect ratio.)

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.