Tenney-DelBene Bill

The Community News & Small Business Support Act

Rebuild Local News helped develop and strongly supports the Community News and Small Business Support Act (H.R. 4756), introduced by Reps. Claudia Tenney, a Republican from New York, and Suzan DelBene, a Democrat from Washington.

The Bill Text | Summary | “Dear Colleague” | FAQs | Press Release | Commentary


The Basics

A Tax Credit for Small Businesses That Advertise with Local News

  • Small businesses can get a tax credit of up to $5,000 in the first year of the bill and $2,500 in the next 4 years to help pay for advertising in local news organizations
  • Small businesses must have 50 or fewer employees
  • The credit will cover 80% of its ad spending in the first year, 50% in years 2-5. (If it spent $5,000 on advertising, $4,000 might be reimbursed in the first year; $2,500 in the other years.)
  • Eligible local news organizations include a variety of local news organizations:
    • Newspapers with fewer than 750 employees, and at least one local news reporter
    • Websites with at least one reporter covering local news
    • TV and radio stations licensed by the FCC
  • Covers traditional advertising and “sponsorships” with nonprofit local newsrooms
  • News organizations majority funded or owned by PACs, 501c()4s and other prohibited classes are not eligible


Payroll Tax Credit for Employment of Local Journalists

  • A local newspaper or website may claim up to $25,000 per local journalist in the first year and up to $15,000 in the following four years, in the form of refundable payroll tax credit
  • The credit would cover 50% of newsroom employee compensation, up to $50,000, in the first year and 30% of compensation, up to $50,000, in each of the subsequent four years.
  • Eligible newsrooms would include a newspaper or website
    • With “original content derived from primary sources and relating to news and current events” & “primarily serves the needs of a regional or local community”
    • Employs one local journalist 
    • Is not controlled by a PAC, 501(c)4 or other disqualified organizations outlined in the bill


The definition of a local journalist is:

  • Someone who works at least 200 hours per quarter for the newsroom
  • Who “regularly gathers, prepares, produces, collects, edits, photographs, records, directs the recording of, writes, presents, or reports news or information that concerns local events or other matters of local public interest.”


In many ways it is similar to the Local Journalism Sustainability Act introduced in the House last session and by Senators Maria Cantwell, Ron Wyden and Chuck Schumer in the Senate.


Endorsed By

The National Restaurant Association has endorsed the legislation.

The following news organizations, most of which are in the Rebuild Local News Coalition, have also endorsed the Community News & Small Business Support Act:

  • National Newspaper Association
  • America’s Newspapers
  • Rebuild Local News
  • News/Media Alliance
  •  The NewsGuild-CWA
  • Texas Press Association
  • Mississippi Press Association
  • Tennessee Press Association
  • Louisiana Press Association
  • Florida Press Association
  • Georgia Press Association
  • Alabama Press Association
  • Arkansas Press Association
  • Kentucky Press Association
  • Ohio News Media Association
  • South Dakota Newspaper Association
  • Illinois Press Association
  • Idaho Allied Dailies
  • Nebraska Press Association
  • Hoosier State Press Association
  • Arizona Newspapers Association
  • Kansas Press Association
  • Michigan Press Association
  • Missouri Press Association
  • New England Newspaper and Press Association
  • Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association
  • West Virginia Press Association
  • Wisconsin Newspaper Association
  • Wyoming Press Association
  • New York Press Association
  • New Jersey Press Association
  • Colorado Press Association
  • Connecticut Daily Newspapers Association
  • MDDC Press Association
  • North Carolina Press Association
  • South Carolina Press Association
  • Minnesota Newspaper Association
  • Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association
  • Iowa Newspaper Association
  • Washington Newspaper Publishers Association
  • Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington
  • Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association
  • Vermont Press Association
  • National Association of Hispanic Publications
  • Communication Workers of America
  • Institute of Nonprofit News
  • Local Independent Online News Publishers
  • International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors
  • Local Media Consortium
  • American Journalism Project
  • The Lenfest Institute for Journalism
  • The Afro-American Newspapers
  • National Federation of Community Broadcasters
  • Solutions Journalism Network
  • PEN America
  • Report for America / The GroundTruth Project
  • Association of Alternative Newsmedia
  • Civic News Company
  • Public Knowledge
  • Al Cross, director, Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues
  • Main Street Media of Tennessee
  • The Washington Informer
  • Black Voice News
  • The Tucson Sentinel
  • Record-Journal Media Group
  • The Examiner News
  • Key Biscayne Independent 
  • The Lansing Journal


More Information


If your publication or organization wants to endorse this bill, please contact us at info@rebuildlocalnews.org.