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Congressional Support for Local Radio Grows

- Five More Texans Reject Performance Tax

Five more members of the Texas congressional delegation have signed on as co-sponsors of HConRes 13, The Local Radio Freedom Act, which opposes efforts by the recording industry to force local Radio stations to pay a new royalty to record labels.

The proposed performance royalty – dubbed a Performance Tax – requires congressional approval and would add to the hundreds of millions of dollars in music royalties that stations across the country already collectively pay.

Artist royalties continue to soar with the addition of GMR to the ranks of performance rights organizations like ASCAP, BMI and SESAC, just as a historic increase in streaming royalties collected by SoundExchange has further strained local stations’ operations.

The new co-sponsors include:

  • Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Houston
  • Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-San Antonio
  • Rep. Morgan Luttrell, R-Houston
  • Rep. Nathaniel Moran, R-Tyler
  • Rep. Roger Williams, R-Weatherford

They signed on after a TAB delegation of 25 broadcasters called on 38 of the state’s 40 offices on Capitol Hill in early March after the NAB’s State Leadership Conference to discuss concerns about the Performance Tax, the need to level the competitive playing field with Big Tech companies, and additional leadership required of the FCC to facilitate deployment of Next Generation Television.

The additional support brings to 21 the number of co-sponsors from Texas – the most of any state. Texas Radio broadcasters are encouraged to thank current supporters and to contact lawmakers who have not yet confirmed their support for the Radio-friendly measure.

Overall, the resolution has bipartisan support from 167 House members, 51 short of the needed majority of 218. Its Senate companion, SConRes 5, has 22 co-sponsors.


Royalty Bill Reintroduced

Legislation creating a new performance royalty has been filed in both chambers of Congress.  Tagged as the “American Music Fairness Act”, HR 791 and S 253 were filed by Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Alex Padilla, both from California. Issa is a Republican, Padilla a Democrat.

Each measure has three co-sponsors to date.

Questions? Contact TAB’s Oscar Rodriguez or call (512) 322-9944.

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