March 18, 2004

Legislative Activity


Date:March 18, 2004

To:AAF Virginia Members
AAF District Three

From: Clark Rector , SVP-government affairs

Re:URGENT - Virginia Advertising Taxes


A proposal to tax advertising time and space is expected to pass the Virginia House tomorrow and the Virginia Senate is expected to take up the bill this weekend. Similar legislation in Florida was devastating to the state economy and was quickly repealed. Your immediate response is needed to help defeat this legislation. Please contact your Senator immediately to state your opposition to ad taxes in Virginia.

Please feel free to use the attached talking points in your message.

Contact information for the Virginia Senate is available by calling AAF and is available online at http://legis.state.va.us/Senate/Senators.htm.

AAF is opposed to advertising taxes because they are devastating to the ad industry and to the economy of the state in which they are enacted. Advertising plays a key role in a free market economy. Increasing the cost of advertising through taxation leads to less advertising, deprives consumer of important information about products and services; limits marketers’ ability to communicate with customers; and creates an economic hardship on the broadcast and print media. For example, during the six months of the 1987 Florida advertising tax national advertising revenue went up 12%, but advertising revenue in Florida declined 3%. Broadcasters in Pensacola, competing with stations in Mobile, Alabama saw a revenue decline of 45%.

Advertising is a legitimate cost of doing business and should not be treated any differently than wages, utilities or rent. Penalizing advertising through the tax code would reduce the amount of advertising and ultimately, have an adverse impact on the entire economy.

If you have any questions about advertising taxes, please contact the AAF at (202) 898-0089.