Billboard Operators Make the Case for Advertising Deductibility

Ken Klein, OAAA EVP, Government Affairs

As Congress considers tax reform, billboard operators are part of a broad, nationwide push to protect deductibility of advertising.

“Outdoor advertisers are doing a great job. Thanks so much,” said Dan Jaffe of ANA (Association of National Advertisers).

A goal of tax reform is to reduce tax rates. Concurrently, Congress considers eliminating or limiting exemptions and preferences, including deductibility of advertising as a business expense.

The advertising lobby (broadcasters, agencies, and advertisers) is on high alert to protect deductibility. Billboard operators assist via strong home-state, grassroots connections, said Nancy Fletcher, president and CEO of OAAA.

  • Salt Lake City, Dewey Reagan of Reagan Outdoor Advertising contacted Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), posing this question: “Why discourage communication with customers?
  • Pat O’Donnell of YESCO Outdoor Media thanked Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV) for agreeing to sign a bipartisan letter to congressional leaders on behalf of deductibility. Cortez-Masto has toured the YESCO plant in Las Vegas.
  • In New York, Rick Del Mastro of City USA Media Group thanked Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) for supporting deductibility. Del Mastro’s letter noted that “New York is the advertising capital of the world.”
  •  In Mansfield, OH, John Siegenthaler of Lind Media Company emailed his hometown friend Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) who responded, “Count on me.”

Tax reform has been “in play” for years.  In 2013, Paul Cook of Wolverine Sign Works in Owosso, MI, wrote Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI) to support deductibility.

In Janesville, WI, David Babcock of Babcock Outdoor delivered a “Dear Paul” letter to Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) in 2015:

“I’m sure you are hearing from the big national advertisers, the broadcasters, and ad agencies making the argument that advertising is and should be a business expense. I emphasize to you that advertising is important to businesses right here in Janesville, and communities like Janesville.”

 

 

 


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