June 5, 2017
- Tax Reform Begins
- Major Privacy Legislation Introduced
Tax Reform Begins
The House Ways and Means Committee held the first 2017 hearing on tax reform
on May 18. The focus of the hearing was on how tax reform would grow
the economy and create jobs. The hearing was a first step in what is
expected to be, at best, a very long process.
One takeaway from
the hearing is that House leaders are still very much in favor of a
Border Adjustment Tax, which would tax most imported goods. However,
that plan has received very little support in either the Senate or Trump
Administration, potentially clearing the way for other corporate tax
including a former chief of staff for the Joint Tax Committee believe
that a final plan is likely to be very similar to the 2014 proposal
offered by former Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp, R-Mich. The
Camp proposal would have lowered the corporate tax rate to 25 percent
and eliminated many tax preferences and deductions, including limiting
the federal deduction for advertising expenses to 50% in the current
year with the remaining 50% amortized over ten years. A similar plan was
introduced at the same time in the Senate by then Finance Committee
Chair Max Baucus, D-Mont., although the amortization schedule in the
Senate plan was for five years.
not been a part of current tax reform discussions (and was not mentioned
at the Ways and Means hearing). Nevertheless, AAF and other members of
The Advertising Coalition are taking nothing for granted and continue to
educate lawmakers about the value of advertising and role in spurring
the economy and generating jobs.
Local AAF members
have attended many grassroots meetings between advertising industry
constituents and members of the Congressional tax writing committees
held in their home districts. AAF members have also urged their
Representatives to sign the letter authored by Congressmen Kevin Yoder, R-Kansas and Eliot Engel, D-New York, and signed by 124 members of Congress defending the advertising deduction. The letter generated positive coverage in the Washington, DC publication The Hill.
Major Privacy Legislation Introduced
Congresswoman Marcia Blackburn, R-Tenn., has introduced what many consider to be the first major piece of privacy legislation in 2017, the Balancing the Rights of Web Surfers Equally and Responsibly (BROWSER) Act. The Congresswoman led the recent Congressional effort to repeal the Federal Communications Commission recent privacy rulemaking.
The bill takes the positive step of designating the Federal Trade Commission
as the nation’s sole online privacy enforcer, including over internet
service providers and edge providers. Unfortunately, the bill would do
what the FCC rules tried to do by expanding the category of “sensitive
information” far beyond what the FTC has ever recognized, including
The bill would
expand the definition of sensitive data and require opt-in consent for
all use, disclosure and access to such data. This would likely chill
innovation and frustrate Internet users, as it could result in consumers
facing a bombardment of disruptive opt-in notices.
The AAF believes that the FTC’s privacy enforcement, coupled with strong industry self-regulation through the Digital Advertising Alliance,
has worked well to protect consumers. The FTC requires consumers to
opt-in before companies can collect sensitive data (such as financial or
medical data) but allows for an opt-out regime for non-sensitive data.
The DAA’s self-regulatory approach aligns with the FTC’s approach to
non-sensitive data and provides a flexible, innovative and independently
enforceable framework that keeps pace with the marketplace.
AAF will continue
to work with our industry partners to educate policymakers to stay with a
successful regulatory approach that protects consumer privacy and
allows for industry innovation.
lawmakers continue to introduce privacy legislation as well. Since the
last Government Report, AAF and our industry partners have sent letters
expressing concern about bills introduced in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and New Jersey.
<< 2017 Reports | View all Government Reports >>
The AAF protects and promotes advertising at all levels of government through grassroots activities. Our nation-wide network monitors advertising-related legislation on local, state and federal levels. We put our members face-to-face with influential lawmakers while encouraging self-regulation as a preemptor to government intervention, when appropriate of course. To learn more about our advocacy efforts, click here.