Thursday, September 24, 2009

Newspaper association wants tax relief, not a bailout

President Obama says he's "happy to look at" a bailout plan for the newspaper industry, which some believe would amount to a virtual government takeover. But the Newspaper Association of America isn't interested, according to Advertising Age.

Proposals such as the Newspaper Revitalization Act, introduced by Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., would have "limited application" in the industry, The NAA's Paul Boyle tells the ad industry publication.

Instead, how does the NAA suggest helping struggling newspapers?

So the Newspaper Association of America is pursuing efforts that would benefit all kinds of for-profit businesses -- including newspapers. One big goal, for example, is legislation that would let big businesses apply their net operating losses to their taxable income going back five years instead of the current two years. Businesses with revenue under $15 million got that break in the economic stimulus package, but the newspaper association and many others want the provision extended and expanded to larger businesses.

Another big issue, particularly next year, is pension relief. The stock market's decline means companies may need to use cash reserves to meet federal funding minimums for their pension funds, the association said, instead of protecting jobs or investing in business activities.

Wow, what a concept. When their own ox is being gored, newspaper industry bigwigs discover the virtues of tax and regulatory relief for big business. Interesting.

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