The Tax That Refuses to Die

Like a bad cold you can’t get rid of, the concept of taxing advertising revenues keeps coming back. The latest states to hop on the bandwagon are Ohio and Minnesota, whose governors—John Kasich and Mark Dayton, respectively—are proposing taxes on advertising as a way to lower taxes in other areas while raising more money. Kasich wants to lower the state sales tax from 5.5% to 5% but start taxing advertising, legal work and other previously untouched areas. Dayton wants to extend the sales tax—in Minnesota, 5.5%—to ad agencies, PR firms, lawyers, accountants, marketers and IT companies. In both cases, the state legislatures must approve the idea.