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Journalism Sustainability Act benefits readers, community

  • By Clay Neely
  • |
  • Jul. 28, 2020 - 5:44 PM

In the midst of massive COVID-19 pandemic disruption, U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) and U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) brought forth a bi-partisan proposal to offer tax relief to small businesses, residents and local newspapers.

The program is a tax credit for each to work together in support of keeping local journalism sustainable during this damaging business environment. It does not raise taxes or divert funds away from other programs.

The program is highly targeted, offers broad benefits and expires in five years.

The Local Journalism Sustainability Act is designed to offer tax credits for subscribers of The Newnan Times-Herald (or any other qualifying newspaper) of up to $250 per year.

This would allow a subscriber to earn a tax credit for subscription price to any local newspaper like The Times-Herald. The idea is to help individuals continue their access to local journalism during a time of economic difficulty.

The act also offers small businesses, those with fewer than 1,000 employees, a tax credit to cover up to $5,000 of advertising costs in the first year and $2,500 in each of the following four years. This will allow small businesses to attract customers while investing into qualified local journalism.

And finally, the act will offer a payroll credit of up to $25,000 the first year and $2,500 in each of the subsequent years to employ and adequately compensate local journalists.

All elements of the act sunset after five years. Relief is given in the form of tax credits, not direct funding.

Local journalism is an important element of American society — and one we feel contributes to a better nation through the sharing of opinions, facts and the invitation for civil conversations.

The Local Journalism Sustainability Act will help local small businesses, consumers of news and smaller local community newspapers much like the newspaper in your hands today.

The Newnan Times-Herald was the first newspaper to resume publication in Georgia after the Civil War. We’re proud to provide our citizens and community a newspaper they can proudly call their own. This is our time-honored call and mission.

We are a local, family-owned business. Our employees are as local as they get. You see us at the grocery stores, restaurants and places of worship. Our kids go to school with your kids.

Our hope is that you will reach out to your congressional representatives and voice your support to allow us to continue to serve our community for years to come.

Please reach out to U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson and encourage his support of the Local Journalism Sustainability Act.