Industry working to avert possible tax on advertising

Beware!  Be informed! There’s a looming possibility of a nearly 10% Illinois advertising tax being imposed to help stanch the state’s need for new and more revenues.

Should the possibility become reality, Illinois would have the distinction of being the only U.S. state to impose such a tax. 

“If an advertising tax is proposed, the process will move very quickly,” states the Chicago Advertising Federation’s AAF EVP/government affairs Clark Rector, Leo Burnett’s Carla Michelotti, chief legal, government and corporate affairs officer and CAF executive director Marla Schrager

The CAF  is one of six Illinois trade organizations, including the Illinois Broadcasters Association, (IBA) that have formed a grass roots initiative called “No Ad Tax Illinois.”

They are working together to proactively fight any potential threat of an ad tax, which would cripple the important, thriving advertising industry, the IBA points out on its website.

The advertising industry generates $267 billion in Illinois economic activity each year — 17.3 percent of the state’s total — and helps produce more than 900,000 jobs, the IBA states.  

Because of the speed by which the tax could be imposed, association members are being mobilized on three levels: to alert their legislators of the potential ad tax; to contact the Governor’s office to oppose such a tax, and reinforce the disastrous outcome should an advertising tax be implemented. 

“For every $1,000 an Illinois business spends on an ad — including TV, radio, internet, newspapers, billboards and more – nearly $100 will be tacked on as a “service fee,” the IBA states.

The “No Ad Tax Illinois” coalition includes the Illinois Press Association, the Outdoor Advertising Association of Illinois, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the Chicago 4A’s Council, the CAF and IBA. 

To join the “No Ad Tax” movement, click here.

The CAF’s deep concern was expressed in a letter its board sent to members: “Governor Rauner hinted about imposing a tax on all services while he was campaigning last fall.  The legislature needs to also find a way to raise revenue. 

“We are reaching a ‘perfect storm’ situation in Illinois and the advertising industry may be right in the eye of the storm.”

To join the “No Ad Tax” movement, click here.