Thursday, February 19, 2009

Washington State Newspapers Ask Lawmakers for Tax Breaks

Struggling Washington State Newspaper publishers begged lawmakers Wednesday to give them a temporary break on the state's main business tax.

The Associated Press reports:

Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen and Scott Campbell, publisher of The Columbian in Vancouver, told the Senate Ways and Means Committee they need help during tumultuous times in the industry.

Under the proposed measure, the business and occupation tax on newspapers would be cut by 40 percent through 2015.

Blethen said a state tax break wouldn't fix all that ails newspapers, but it would help them preserve jobs.

The loss of advertising revenue, mixed with the current economic climate, has put weekly and daily newspapers in the state under "tremendous financial pressure," he said.

"Some of us, like The Seattle Times, are literally holding on by our fingertips today," Blethen said.

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