McDowell Supports Minority Tax Certificate Revival

FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell has reiterated his call for the return of the minority tax certificate program.

“Providing broadcasters with a tax incentive to sell to small and disadvantaged businesses would increase the volume and frequency of such exchanges dramatically,” he said during a speech to the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters conference.

Specifically, the new version would close loopholes, restoring “integrity and certainty” to the program, McDowell says. Congress killed the program in 1995 amid fraud allegations. 

McDowell noted the tax certificate bills introduced into the last Congress didn’t move, but urged supporters not to give up the fight.

At the event, NABOB honored McDowell for his efforts to have stations certify their advertising contracts do not contain so-called “no urban/no Hispanic dictates.” Stations must make the certification at license renewal time.

NABOB and the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council believe enactment of the nondiscrimination rule may have resulted in an additional $200 million per year in advertising revenues flowing to stations that serve predominantly minority audiences.

For years, the dictates were a barrier to minorities when they tried to acquire capital to buy stations, he said.


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