The senate of the home state of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has passed a tax break bill for newspapers. The Washington Legislature approved a temporary 40% cut on the business and occupation tax for the state's newspapers through 2015. The bill, House Bill 2122, was passed Sunday with a 46-2 vote and will move on to the Governor Chris Gregoire.
Last month, Senator Benjamin Cardin proposed a bill that would make American newspapers' advertising and subscription revenue tax-exempt. He said, "the economy has caused an immediate problem, but the business model for newspapers, based on circulation and advertising revenue, is broken, and that is a real tragedy for communities across the nation and for our democracy."
Critics of the Senator's Newspaper Revitalization Act and others like it say they defy freedom of speech and may muzzle the watchdogs. Another concern is whether the government is interested in only helping the larger national papers or all papers including regional and metropolitan.