Illinois Bill Would Provide Tax Credits For Hiring Reporters

The Illinois legislature is mulling a bill that would give tax credits to publishers who employ reporters. 

Introduced by Sen. Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford), Senate Bill 3953 would provide a tax credit of up to $25,000 for each reporter on the payroll, and up to $30,000 for new journalistic hires, reports state. 

The credits would be available to independently owned outlets, not to subsidiaries of larger companies. 

In addition, the act would provide tax credits for local small businesses that advertise with local newsrooms.

Stadelman’s office notes that Illinois has lost a third of its local newspapers and newsrooms over the past 15 to 20 years, along with 85% of its jobs.

“The tax credit measures will help keep our reporters on the street,” says Dan Haley, president and publisher of Growing Community Media.



“We have discovered meaningful solutions to the ongoing issue of the decline in local journalism in Illinois,” Stadelman says. “Now, in order to improve the financial situations of local newsrooms, it is important that we take those solutions and incorporate them into our legislation.”

Illinois is not the first state to consider such a bill. In April, New York State included the Newspaper and Broadcast Media Jobs Program, which provides tax credits for hiring local reporters, in its FY25 budget. 

The measure would provide credits of 50% of the first $50,000 of a journalist’s salary for the first three years. The tax credits would total $30 million per year for three years for print and media and broadcasting companies, with credits to be divided evenly between large and small companies.
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