Wisconsin business and news associations urge state legislators to pass a local media ad tax credit

The incentive provides a 25% tax credit to small businesses that advertise in their local news outlets.

In an effort led by Rep. Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville), several business and news associations in Wisconsin sent legislators a letter advocating for the inclusion of a Small Business Local Media Advertising Tax Credit to the 2023-2025 state budget. The initiative establishes a 25% tax credit for small businesses to purchase advertising in qualifying Wisconsin-based media outlets, including newspapers, broadcast stations, and digital-only news sites. The state legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance will determine whether the measure is included in the budget.

April 24, 2023

To Members of the Joint Finance Committee


Wisconsin Broadcasters Association
Wisconsin Chiropractic Association
Wisconsin Dental Association
Wisconsin Grocers Association
Wisconsin Independent Businesses
Wisconsin Newspaper Association
Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association
Wisconsin Restaurant Association
Tavern League of Wisconsin

As you work on the 2023-25 state budget, we ask that you include language to establish a tax credit that will help small businesses advertise with local media outlets in Wisconsin. This proposal is being championed by State Representative Todd Novak.

In recent years, small businesses in Wisconsin have been forced to deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, worker shortages and, now, inflation and supply chain challenges. All have combined to take an incredible toll on many small businesses in our state. Main street businesses in all sectors and all parts of Wisconsin have faced challenges on a level never seen before.

Our local media outlets, most of which are small businesses themselves, are dealing with the same obstacles. Community focused, family run businesses, including newspapers and radio stations, are in the same perilous position as many retailers, hospitality businesses and small manufacturers are in trying to keep their businesses stable under difficult circumstances.

To provide some relief for these small businesses, we hope you will support the effort being led by Representative Novak to establish a 25 percent tax credit for small businesses to purchase advertising in local media outlets. The credit would be capped at $2,500 and sunset after five years. Qualifying advertising would have to be placed in Wisconsin-based media outlets including newspapers, radio stations, television stations and internet news sites.

The advertising incentive creates a win-win scenario for small businesses that want to advertise for both customers or workers and for local media. Similar legislation was proposed last session and garnered bipartisan support. The tax credit is meant to be a short-term incentive that will help small businesses throughout Wisconsin weather these difficult times.

We appreciate your consideration.


To download the letter as a PDF, click here