February 2, 2021
Nebraska State Senator Tom Briese (R) has introduced legislation to lower the sales tax rate and expand the base to include all services, including advertising. The bill is similar to one the Senator introduced last year. That measure was the subject of a hearing, but never advanced out of committee.
Our Legislative Leadership at the American Advertising Federation national will continue to monitor the situation closely and let us know if the prospects for the bill changes.
It would be helpful for Nebraska advertising professionals to contact their Senators and let them know that any tax on advertising is a bad tax.
A tax on advertising should be opposed because:
- Placing a tax on advertising services and/or placement increases the cost of advertising. Because most clients operate on a fixed advertising budget, they will compensate for the tax by decreasing their advertising purchases. This will have a direct — and negative — impact on the advertising industry, economy, consumers, and the state.
- Advertising is the primary source of revenue for print and online media and the sole source for broadcasters. A reduction in advertising would inevitably result in a loss of jobs and a decreased ability to provide quality content and programming.
- Advertising is the engine that fuels the economy. Less advertising means fewer sales. Fewer sales mean reduced revenue and fewer jobs. Fewer sales also result in less sales tax revenue for Nebraska.
- Consumers will suffer. Advertising is an important source of information. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark Virginia Pharmacy case noted that to many people, the information in advertising is more important than news about current issues.
- Prices may rise. Studies show that advertising fosters competition and helps lower the price of products and services. Less advertising means less competition.
- National advertising dollars will leave the state. Marketers will move dollars to jurisdictions that do not charge a penalty to advertise.
Thank you in advance for taking time to contact your Senator to let them know you oppose a tax on advertising.
AAF Omaha Legislative Chairs
Cassi Warren and Bob Mancuso
Sample letter to send to your State Senators and the Nebraska Revenue Committee:
As one of your constituents, I am writing to ask you to oppose LB422. I am employed and actively involved in Nebraska’s advertising industry through the American Advertising Federation. The ambiguity of LB422 to change and impose sales and use tax on services in the state of Nebraska could create economic burdens for not only my industry but for those businesses I work with regularly. While the bill does not refer to advertising specifically, the obscurity of this bill does not exempt advertising as a service.
Placing a tax on advertising services and/or placements increases the cost of advertising. Most businesses operate on fixed a advertising budget and will compensate for the tax by decreasing their advertising purchases. This will have a direct—and negative—impact on the advertising industry, economy, consumers, and state of Nebraska. Advertising is a driver of Nebraska’s economy, generating 15.2% of all economic activity throughout the state and accounts for 10.7% of all jobs in Nebraska.
Additionally, advertising benefits Nebraska’s economy by:
- Informing consumers of products and services, including price information
- Offering a springboard for new products and services
- Easing the entry of new businesses to the marketplace
- Funding the media that connects our communities, providing news and entertainment
The advertising industry consists of clients, agencies, broadcasters, print media, outdoor, direct mail, commercial photographers, photocopying and duplicating, video production, commercial artists, graphic designers, and commercial printers.
Please support your constituents who work in, and benefit from, the advertising industry by not adding sales and use tax to advertising services.
- Sen. Lou Ann Linehan, Chairperson- District 39/Western Douglas County- firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Joni Albrecht- Wayne, Thurston, Dakota counties
- Sen. Eliot Bostar- District 29-Lincoln email@example.com
- Sen. Tom Briese- District 41 Central Nebraska
- Sen. Mike Flood- District 19 Madison County
- Sen. Curt Friesen- District 34 Grand Island (part of Hall), Hamilton, Merrick, and Nance counties
- Sen. Brett Lindstrom- District 18 Omaha (680 north of Maple to 168th) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Rich Pahls- District 31 Omaha (144t to 180thPacific to Harrison) email@example.com
Do you want to stay connected and in the know with your Nebraska State Senator? Click the link below to find out who represents your district in the Nebraska Unicam.
The AAF Omaha Legislative team will keep you up to date on issues that impact our industry and our important to our community.