Florida Ad and Media Groups Unite Against Tax Proposal
July 1, 2008 at 5:37 AM (PT)
Anxious to fend off a reprise of the storied 1987 FLORIDA ad tax, local broadcasters and media groups are marshalling for a fight, arguing that the move could end up costing the state as much as $250 million, reports ADAGE.COM.
Local ad and media groups, along with the FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF BROADCASTERS, have hired a political consultant and are turning over their own media time in JULY for a consumer ad effort warning the public not to vote for an upcoming tax proposal. The battle is reminiscent of one 21 years ago when the FLORIDA Legislature approved an ad tax, only to reverse course six months later.
The immediate target is a referendum vote this NOVEMBER on a constitutional amendment to cut state property taxes by 25%. Business groups, advertisers and media companies say the proposal's wording effectively mandates that FLORIDA's Legislature eliminate sales-tax exemptions on service industries -- among them advertising and media -- to replace the revenue.
"When you get reality, you are forcing the Legislature to act," said FAB Pres./CEO D. PATRICK ROBERTS, who warned that an ad tax could be devastating to the state. In 1987, when the FLORIDA Legislature passed such a tax, conventions were moved, ad schedules in the state were canceled and some smaller companies fled FLORIDA before the Legislature reversed course.