State Regulatory Roundup

State Association Lunch at LookOut2017. Left to right: Myron Laible (OAAA), Don Avjean (Outfront), Denise Shewmake (Lamar), Meghan Loper (CA OAA), Kevin Futryk (OAA of Ohio)

Myron Laible chaired the state association lunch at the LookOut2017 convention Tuesday.  Here’s what Insider learned.

Don Avjean.  Outfront eastern region VP.

  • Lots of billboard proposals in New York including just compensation, a requirement that alcohol off billboards, a lighting bill a bill to increase the minimal digital flip to 60 secs and a local times square taxation bill.  Vigilance is the key to preventing adverse legislation.
  • A vegetation bill was passed this year in New Jersey.
  • A Connecticut attempt to apply a new tax on billboards died in the legislature.
  • The out of home industry recently won a Pennsylvania court case confirming that landowners can’t be taxed on billboard property values.
  • Avjean is seeing a change in approach by communities: “Municipalities are starting to like us because they realize that digital works for them.”

Meghan Loper, California state Outdoor Advertising Association.  

  • California has increased spending on infrastructure which may lead to some sign relocations.
  • Gov Brown has generally been supportive of billboards.  He is on record as saying that Billboards are modern pop art.
  • There are stringent restrictions on cannabis advertising and some proposals to eliminate advertising for cannabis.  Vendors who do business with cannabis companies may have banking accounts frozen by banks worried about violating federal regulations.
  • The California Outdoor Advertising Association has participated in a legal challenge to a law requiring the warning label on outdoor advertising for sugary beverages.  The label would have to occupy 20% of the space of a sign.  The Association is waiting for a court decision.   City can’t enforce decision until court case decided.

Kevyn Futryk, Outdoor Advertising Association of Ohio. 

  • The legislature passed a bill to require that the $1.8 million in fees and fines the out home industry pays get used to administer out of home advertising law rather than simply going to the general fund.
  • There are attempts from time to time  to increase the sales tax and expand the tax base to include out of home advertising.

Denise Shewmake, Lamar Outdoor Tennessee

  • Tennessee has passed gas tax to fund $10 billion in transportation projects which will put the stoplight on the need for just compensation.
  • Gallatin was opposed billboards and digital signs.  Shewmake has pointed out to Gallatin city officials that Lamar could run no public service ads and had to turn away local advertisers without digital billboards.  The mayor and city council supported digital billboards and a proposal passed over the opposition of the city planner.  Now all the little towns around Gallatin want digital.

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