Billboard Tax Cases Worth Watching

The Maryland Court of Appeals will review a challenge to Baltimore’s Billboard tax.  Clear Channel Outdoor has asked courts to overturn a tax at the rate of $15 per square foot for digital billboards and $5 per square foot on other billboards.  Clear Channel Outdoor says the tax is constitutionally flawed because it singles out a small group of speakers for a unique financial burden.

In Ohio Norton Outdoor and Lamar Advertising received a court ruling that the city’s billboard tax was an unconstitutional burden on free speech.  The City of Cincinnati appealed.  A a three judge Ohio State Court of Appeals will hear arguments in the Cincinnati case on June 3.

Insider’s take:  Both cases are worth watching.  Cash hungry municipalities may look to out of home to make covid-related shortfalls in sales tax revenue.


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