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September 21, 2012
Clark Rector Jr., Executive Vice President – Government Affairs
Lawmakers to Discuss Tax Provisions
The tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee has begun to hold bipartisan private meetings to discuss the many tax provisions expiring at the end of the year, including the President Bush ere tax cuts. In addition to the tax provisions, Congress will also be under pressure to deal with sequestration, or the automatic cuts to defense and domestic programs that will be enacted absent congressional action before 2013. Taken together, the tax and spending issues constitute the so-called fiscal cliff.
Specifics of the meetings are unknown, but history teaches us that at some point advertising will be a point of discussion. For example, just one year ago, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction actively deliberated placing limits on the amount of the cost of advertising that a business could deduct as one strategy for generating additional tax revenues.
AAF and many of our grassroots members across the country have been preparing for the possibility of the issue being raised again by meeting with members of the Committee to explain the importance of maintaining the full advertising tax deduction. A key tool is economic data that shows the amount of economic activity and jobs generated by the advertising industry across the country, as well as in every state and congressional district.
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Lame Duck on the Way
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is reportedly telling Senators to expect to return to Washington, DC on November 13 – just one week after the election – and to be prepared to remain in session until close to Christmas. In addition to the revenue and spending issues discussed above, Congress will also attempt to deal with Medicare payments to physicians and raising the debt limit. Both the House and Senate are expected to be out of session for the remainder of September and most, if not all, of October.
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Commissioners Talk Privacy
The Federal Trade Commission continues to focus on privacy and do-not-track proposals. Two of the five commissioners have each given a major speech on the issue, with significantly different viewpoints. Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch questions both the necessity and feasibility of do-not-track. Commssioner Julie Brill, on the other hand,encouraged the industry to move forward and encouraged participation in the efforts of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international standards setting body for the Internet. Many members of the industry are concerned that the W3C proposals are overly restrictive and would hamper not just advertising, but information essential to analytics and product development.
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