Members of Congress are seeking ways to pay for an extension of the payroll tax holiday approved in December of last year. Some have suggested that spectrum auctions may help in this regard.
In December 2010, Congress passed legislation temporarily decreasing the employee payroll tax for Social Security from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent; it will expire at the end of the year unless extended. While numerous plans have been floated to reimburse the U.S. Treasury for the tax money not received in an extended holiday, a House bill that may be voted on next week is expected to roll in the text of the Jumpstarting Opportunity with Broadband Spectrum (JOBS) Act embraced by a subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee last Thursday. Significantly, this spectrum bill, which authorizes a voluntary auction of television broadcast spectrum for broadband use, differs from several previous proposals in the House and Senate by including numerous important protections for full power and Class A television stations in the event of an auction and subsequent channel re-packing. It is also notable that this bill does not speak to the situation of non-Class A low power television stations.
NRB continues to actively remind Capitol Hill that our association includes a significant number of full power, Class A, and low power television broadcasters. As relevant legislation advances in Congress, we are steadfastly urging continued consideration and inclusion of explicit provisions that fairly honor the services and investments of all Christian television broadcasters in their local communities.