Threat of Ad Taxes, Restrictions on the Rise in 3 States

WASHINGTON, D.C. A bill introduced in the Arkansas legislature would impose a nearly 7 percent tax on all advertising in the state to help raise money for education and close a $400 million budget gap.

Under the Arkansas bill introduced on Jan. 22, the sale of advertising time and space, including television, radio and newspaper advertising, would all be taxed.

“This would be a big hit for the advertising industry,” said Dan Jaffe, executive vice president of the Association of National Advertisers.

Separately, Maine is mulling a similar tax measure, but at this point, lawmakers are in preliminary discussions and no bill has been introduced.

Meanwhile, a petition was filed late last year by the Oregon Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to amend the Oregon Administrative Rules pertaining to alcohol advertising. The group seeks the restrictions I outlined in the Web item, which would prohibit alcohol ads on billboards within 500 feet of churches, schools or public playgrounds.