DC Rejects New Tax on Data - Articles

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29Jul

DC Rejects New Tax on Data

The City Council for Washington, DC voted on July 28, 2020 to reject the proposed three percent tax on the sale of data, as requested by the Insights Association and a large coalition of interested businesses and associations.

Following a vote to replace the projected revenue with other sources on July 21, Councilmembers voted yesterday to completely delete the Advertising and Personal Information Tax Amendment Act of 2020 from the District of Columbia's FY21 budget, which would have added a 3 percent tax on the sale of personal information and on advertising. The Act's definition of personal information was so broad as to likely include the sale of any data, not just data traditionally understood to be personally identifiable.

As stated by our coalition: "We strongly commend the Council of the District of Columbia for removing the advertising and personally identifiable information sales tax from the FY 2021 budget. This proposed tax would have created a substantial barrier for economic recovery and job creation in the District. Its removal provides a far better environment for the many large and small business and media entities struggling to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We very much appreciate the Council’s willingness to carefully examine these critically important issues and to develop alternatives to meet the District’s budget challenges."

Howard Fienberg, VP Advocacy for the Insights Association, commented that, "Businesses rely on data to understand the wants and needs of their consumer base. The new tax on data sales would have increased the cost of planning and decision-making, dis-incentivizing the marketing research and data analytics essential to economic recovery and the return of lost jobs to the District of Columbia."

IA looked at the data tax versus existing DC tax law and had urged our members to contact their Councilmembers in opposition to this new tax on the insights industry w/ a 1-page position paper.

About the Author

Howard Fienberg

Howard Fienberg

Based in Washington, DC, Howard is the Insights Association's lobbyist for the marketing research and data analytics industry, focusing primarily on consumer privacy and data security, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), tort reform, and the funding and integrity of the decennial Census and the American Community Survey (ACS). Howard has more than two decades of public policy experience. Before the Insights Association, he worked in Congress as senior legislative staffer for then-Representatives Christopher Cox (CA-48) and Cliff Stearns (FL-06). He also served more than four years with a science policy think tank, working to improve the understanding of scientific and social research and methodology among journalists and policymakers. Howard is also co-director of The Census Project, a 900+ member coalition in support of a fair and accurate Census and ACS. He has also served previously on the Board of Directors for the National Institute for Lobbying and Ethics and and the Association of Government Relations Professionals. Howard has an MA International Relations from the University of Essex in England and a BA Honors Political Studies from Trent University in Canada, and has obtained the Certified Association Executive (CAE), Professional Lobbying Certificate (PLC) and the Public Policy Certificate (PPC). When not running advocacy for the Insights Association, Howard enjoys hockey, NFL football, sci-fi and horror movies, playing with his dog, and spending time with family and friends.

Attachments

  1. ia_issue_paper_dc-ad-and-pii-tax.pdf 10/20/2023 1:35:31 PM

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