Tax cuts for big media?
That’s the word on a provision of the reconciliation bill congressional Democrats are pushing. According to Americans for Tax Reform, the provision would offer a payroll tax credit to large media firms:
This provision would provide a refundable payroll tax credit equal to 50 percent of wages up to $12,500 per quarter per employee for the first four calendar quarters and a 30 percent credit for each calendar quarter thereafter.
On page 1,957 of the 2000+page bill, section 138516 would create a tax credit for news organizations, including newspapers and broadcasters such as radio and television:
“The number of local news journalists which may be taken into account under subsection (a) with respect to any eligible local news journalist employer for any calendar quarter shall not exceed 1,500.”
So who would qualify for such a tax credit?
ATR says National Public Radio and PBS would make the cut, which is a neat trick considering their quasi-governmental status. But the real problem is who wouldn’t get the tax break:
The bill also appears to be a big-media power play against small, one-person local outfits. The bill specifically excludes journalists who do not have “media liability insurance.” This could be a cost barrier for many individuals seeking to truly cover local events in their community.
Several large, legacy daily newspapers, tv and radio broadcasting companies also appear eligible for the tax handout. Any newspaper eligible to receive these funds now needs to disclose this fact while editorializing in favor the Democrats’ reconciliation bill.
Favoritism for the big boys and the expense of the little guys. That’s Congress in a nutshell.