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With Congressional Window Closing, Performance Tax Bill Lingers

- Key House Panel Poised to Take Action

Federal legislation requiring local Radio broadcasters to pay a new performance royalty is awaiting action in a key House committee after receiving a hearing in February. With lawmakers eyeing busy summer schedules leading into the mid-term election season, proponents could be preparing to advance it for a full House vote in a matter of days.
Branded a “Performance Tax” by NAB, the so-called “American Music Fairness Act” (AMFA) would siphon huge sums of money from local Radio stations and pour it into the pockets of international record labels. 
Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-NY, who serves as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is a supporter of the bill which has 33 co-sponsors. However, a bipartisan group of 211 members of the House – seven short of a majority – are on record opposing such a measure as co-sponsors of HConRes 33, The Local Radio Freedom Act.
Texas leads the country in the number of co-sponsors of the Radio-friendly resolution.
Radio stations across the Lone Star State are airing radio spots opposing AMFA as artist royalties continue to soar with the addition of GMR to the ranks of performance rights organizations like ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. 
A historic increase in streaming royalties collected by SoundExchange has further strained local stations’ operations.
Despite NAB’s repeated invitations to work with record labels on a holistic review of the music licensing regime, the record labels have yet to engage with the industry.
In the meantime, TAB continues to help lawmakers understand the threat AMFA presents to their local Radio stations and, by extension, local communities that rely on stations’ public service, economic partnerships, and emergency communications. 
Questions? Contact TAB’s Oscar Rodriguez or call (512) 322-9944.

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