The number of Members of Congress on record against a performance tax continues to grow. With the recent additions of Reps. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.), Tom Garrett (R-Va.), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), the Local Radio Freedom Act (H.Con.Res.13) now has the bipartisan support of 220 Representatives. That is two more than the 218 votes needed to guarantee a majority in the House.
Reps. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Gene Green (D-Texas) are the chief House sponsors of this bill. After it passed this key threshold of support, Conaway said:
Local radio stations provide an invaluable service for communities, keeping citizens apprised of news, weather updates, and other emergency alerts. In the case of natural disasters, such as the recent hurricanes and wildfires, the local radio emergency alert system provides vital, life-saving information to those who might be in harm’s way. Any new taxes or fees, such as a proposed ‘performance tax,’ could place an undue burden on small, locally owned radio stations and jeopardize these essential services. I’m glad to see the majority of my colleagues stand up on behalf of these stations and their listeners.
Similarly, Green, who highlighted radio’s particular importance in his Houston-area district this year, said, “Our bipartisan resolution calls for Congress to continue the nearly century-old policy of not imposing performance fees on local radio stations to the benefit of American consumers.”
The Senate version of this legislation sponsored by Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) currently has the declared support of 25 Senators.
Long opposed to a performance tax as a new and unwarranted burden on many Christian radio broadcasters, NRB supports this important bill and encourages additional co-sponsorship.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: December 15, 2017