Legislation Against Performance Tax Reintroduced

Many Members of Congress have again certified that they don’t agree with a performance tax. The Local Radio Freedom Act was reintroduced by Reps. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) and Michael Conaway (R-Texas) in the House of Representatives and Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) in the Senate. This bill opposes “any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge relating to the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station for broadcasting sound recordings over-the-air, or on any business for such public performance of sound recordings.”

NRB opposes a performance tax as a new and unwarranted burden on many Christian radio broadcasters. Musicians receive free airplay by radio, boosting recognition and sales of their work.  However, advertisers, sponsors, and program syndicators pay for placement on radio because of the substantive benefits they receive from over-the-air (OTA) carriage. The demonstrable value of radio airtime is often ignored by many advocates of a new OTA performance tax.

The Local Radio Freedom Act begins this Congress with strong bipartisan support of 119 Representatives and five Senators. Last year the bill ended with 227 Representatives and 28 Senators signed on in support.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: February 22, 2019

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