The tax break is estimated to cost $1 billion, "tiny compared to big ticket items like clean energy and child care," writes Rick Edmonds of The Poynter Institute. "Even with bipartisan support and 78 co-sponsors, however, it fell in the category of a lesser priority when crunch time came . . . That leaves the Senate, where the bill was late getting sponsors and has not passed, as the best hope."
The proposed tax credit would pay half the salary of local journalists earning up to $50,000 for one year and 30% of salary for four subsequent years.
"That money would provide big and timely help after advertising declines during the pandemic, which worsened already shaky finances for newspapers and some digital startups," Edmonds writes. "Its passage would be a precedent, breaking through the American tradition of First Amendment concerns that government and journalism enterprises should be kept entirely separate. (Subsidies for news are common elsewhere in the world)."