Congress tries again to revive minority tax program to help diversify radio ownership


There is new life being breathed into the years-long effort to revive the tax program that would give breaks to broadcasters who sell stations to women and minority-led companies. Senator Gary Peters (D-Michigan) has reintroduced a bill that would reestablish a Minority Tax Certificate Program to incentivize capital investment in women- and minority-owned stations, as well as investment in the sale of stations to those new entrants in both radio and television. The bill would also establish a tax credit for broadcast owners who donate their stations to train individuals in the management and operation of broadcast stations.

The proposed Broadcast Varied Ownership Incentives for Community Expanded Service (VOICES) Act would cap the value of a tax certificate at $50 million. The station sold would also need to be controlled by the “socially disadvantaged individuals” for at least two years. The bill does envision a limit on the total number of sales per year, or the total value of sales per year, that could qualify for the tax breaks, but it does not put any specific number on where the cap would be.

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