American Advertising Federation of Des Moines

Don't Choke off Revenue for Broadcasters, Print Media, and the Internet


Below is a  call to action on a letter to the House Leadership from Reps. Eliot Engel and Kevin Yoder. The two Congressmen offered to lead this letter supporting the current deduction for the cost of advertising. We are grateful for this support from Members who are not on the Committee on Ways and Means.

The NAB and Tax Coalition, which includes the AAF , have asked for help to seek as many additional signatures from House Members who are not on the Ways and Means committee as we can gather before sending it to the Leadership.  

Please join us in contacting local congressional offices to sign this bipartisan letter.

Don't Choke off Revenue for Broadcasters, Print Media, and the Internet
Join a Bipartisan Letter to Leadership Opposing Arbitrary New Taxes on Advertising

Dear Colleague:

Advertising is the principal source of revenue for print media, broadcasters, cable television stations and the majority of the websites on the internet. An IHS Global Insight study found that for every dollar of advertising purchased in the U.S. economy, twenty-two dollars of economic activity is generated. 

Changing the tax code to impose a tax on advertising will have significant negative consequences for the U.S. economy. Under current law, advertising receives the same tax treatment as any other normal business expense – it is deductible in the year it is incurred, just like the cost of salaries or office supplies. However, a proposal has been put forward as part of the negotiations around comprehensive tax reform that would change the way that advertising is deducted and, in effect, levy an arbitrary new tax on advertisers. This new tax would reduce substantially the primary source of revenue for broadcasters, print, and the internet. Without that revenue, we would lose many of the jobs and much of the economic activity generated by these companies.

Tax reform is an important goal, but the changes Congress makes should be smart ones. We invite you to join us in a bipartisan letter to leadership opposing an arbitrary new tax on advertising. The text of the letter is below. To cosign the letter, please contact Lewis Kaminski with Rep. Engel’s office ( or Joe Eannello with Rep. Yoder’s office (


ELIOT L. ENGEL                                            KEVIN YODER
Member of Congress                                       Member of Congress


The Honorable John Boehner                      The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House                                    Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives                    U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515                                  Washington, DC 


Dear Mr. Speaker and Madame Leader:

As we begin the 114th Congress, one of our highest priorities should be to streamline the corporate tax code – to eliminate loopholes and special benefits while lowering the overall tax rate. As we investigate different proposals, we should keep in mind the goals of these reforms: to increase opportunity, allow for employers to pay strong wages, and bolster job creation and business growth. We ask you to be mindful that the positive benefits of these reforms could be greatly diminished if Congress repeals certain long-standing provisions of tax law that have demonstrated the ability to create jobs and promote economic expansion.

One reform proposal would modify the tax deduction for the cost of business advertising, arbitrarily imposing a new tax on advertising and effectively making advertising more costly. For more than 100 years, advertising expenditures have received the same tax treatment as any other ordinary and necessary business expense, much the same as employee wages, rent, utilities, and office supplies. In the last Congress, a proposal to single out advertising expenses to be taxed as a revenue offset in tax reform drafts by both the Chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee.

Changes that will make advertising more expensive cannot be justified as a matter of tax or economic policy. Such changes would be severely detrimental to local advertisers, broadcasters, print media, online service providers, national media companies, news-gathering organizations, and other businesses that rely on advertising as their primary source of income. Imposing this cost on advertising would threaten the ability of these businesses to continue to support jobs and offer the high quality news, information, and entertainment on which our constituents rely.

In 2013, advertising supported 21.7 million U.S. jobs and $5.8 trillion in U.S. sales, according to a study by economic consulting firm IHS Global Insight, Inc. Further, the study showed that the indirect economic impact of advertising spending is significant: every dollar of advertising spending generates $22 of economic activity.

Fixing our country's tax code is a challenge that we welcome. As this Congress delves deeper into these issues over the coming weeks and months, we ask that any changes contemplated are meaningful and based in sound economic principles.


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