Legislative Alert: July 7, 2020


Subject: DC Ad Tax Update

AAF DC and Ad 2 DC Leaders:
A few moments ago, the District of Columbia City Council unanimously approved their 2021 Budget which includes the 3% tax on advertising.  This is not a final passage as this was the first of two readings that the Budget must go through before it can be enacted.
While a number of amendments to the Budget were considered, none addressed the ad tax.  There was however some discussion of the ad tax and a number of Councilmembers expressed concern about the harmful impact the tax could have on the media – especially on small community newspapers.  Unfortunately, the Council has not conducted a hearing to get public feedback on the proposal.
It appears from the discussion that the proposal was initiated by Councilmember David Grosso who stated that one of his prime goals is to tax the ads on large digital platforms.
We will coordinate next steps with local and national industry allies and look for a Councilmember willing to introduce an amendment to remove the tax.  In the meantime, continue to let Councilmembers know of your objection to an ad tax and the harm that it would do to your business and its negative impact on jobs and the economy.
We will continue to keep you informed as this issue moves forward.


Clark Rector
Executive Vice President-Government Affairs
American Advertising Federation
1101 K Street, NW, Suite 420
Washington, DC  20005