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Broadcasters Eligible to Receive Payroll Tax Credit for Hiring Journalists

The budget that passed last Saturday included the “Newspaper and Broadcast Media Jobs Program.” Working with the newspaper association, we were able to break the ice and obtain a journalism tax payroll tax credit for local stations. As previously noted, this triggered a huge battle between the Senate and the Governor. After battling for weeks, the legislation:

  • Creates a 3-year payroll tax credit for newsroom employees beginning in tax years 2025 – 2028.

  • There is a $5,000 tax credit for each new employee.

  • Stations may receive a tax credit for 50% of an existing employee’s salary up to $50,000.

  • Total credit cap for each employer is $300,000.

  • Each station serving a separate market is considered to be a separate employer.

  • Total $30 million budget allocation for journalist employee tax credit across the state. This will be divided up where 50% of the funds will go to media companies with less than 100 employees and 50% to entities with 100 employees or more. 

While the total amount of the credit - $30 million – is small for covering the entire state, it is a huge step in the right direction. It establishes the principle that we can use the tax code to help fund journalists.  After all, businesses are able to take business deductions for investments in technology to produce the news. There is no reason not to extend the concept and obtain a payroll tax credit for hiring reporters and newscasters.

There is one technical problem. The bill contains legislative language that seems to indicate stations owned by publicly traded companies are not eligible for the tax credit. Throughout the process, we were told that all broadcast stations licensed to communities in NY would be eligible for the tax credit. However, the final wording was changed at the last minute and this needs to be clarified. Nearly all TV stations and many radio stations in New York are owned by publicly traded companies. We are told by the Governor’s office that there was no intent to exclude broadcasters.  We are working to clarify this language.       

You can see the text of the legislation here.



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