NAB Logo
June 13, 2008
Dennis Wharton
follow me

Performance Tax Opposition Three Votes Shy of House Majority

--Four new House members, two Senators oppose RIAA performance tax in last 24 hours--

WASHINGTON, DC – Thirteen senators and 215 House members are now on record in opposition to a record industry-backed effort to levy a "new performance fee, tax, royalty or other charge" on local radio stations for music airplay. In the last 24 hours, four new House members and two additional Senators joined the growing chorus in opposition to a campaign led by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Sens. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and John Barrasso (R-WY) became the 12th and 13th members of the U.S. Senate to co-sponsor the Local Radio Freedom Act (S. Con. Res. 82) , which denounces the notion of a performance tax benefiting the foreign-owned record labels. Meanwhile, a House companion resolution, H. Con. Res. 244, gained the support of four additional lawmakers: Reps. Steve Israel (D-NY), Andre Carson (D-IN), Michael Burgess (R-TX) and Cliff Stearns (R-FL), ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet.

"The chorus of lawmakers recognizing the immense promotional value provided by local radio airplay grows louder with each passing day," said NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton. "RIAA may prefer to dismiss growing Congressional opposition to their performance tax effort, but to do so would be as foolish as disregarding the $2 billion dollars in music sales revenue generated annually through local radio airplay."

To gain a majority of the 435-member House of Representatives, local broadcasters need only the support of three additional lawmakers.

The Local Radio Freedom Act counters legislation supported by the RIAA, which would require America's hometown broadcasters to compensate the foreign-owned record labels for radio airplay of music.

"Congress should not impose any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge relating to the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station for broadcasting sound recordings over the air, or on any business for such public performance of sound recordings," reads the Local Radio Freedom Act.

To date, 13 Senators have co-sponsored S. Con. Res. 82, including:

Allard, Wayne (R-CO)
Barrasso, John (R-WY)
Brownback, Sam (R-KS)
Burr, Richard (R-NC)
Hagel, Chuck (R-NE)
Inhofe, James M. (R-OK)
Isakson, Johnny (R-GA)
Lincoln, Blanche (D-AR)
Murkowski, Lisa (R-AK)
Nelson, E. Benjamin (D-NE)
Tester, Jon (D-MT)
Webb, Jim (D-VA)
Wicker, Roger F. (R-MS)

H. Con. Res. 244 currently has support from 215 House members, including:

Aderholt, Robert (R-AL)
Alexander, Rodney (R-LA)
Altmire, Jason (D-PA)
Akin, Todd (R-MO)
Arcuri, Mike (D-NY)
Bachmann, Michele (R-MN)
Bachus, Spencer (R-AL)
Baird, Brian (D-WA)
Barrett, Gresham (R-SC)
Barrow, John (D-GA)
Bartlett, Roscoe G. (R-MD)
Bean, Melissa (D-IL)
Berkley, Shelley (D-NV)
Berry, Marion (D-AR)
Biggert, Judy (R-IL)
Bilbray, Brian P. (R-CA)
Bishop, Rob (R-UT)
Bishop, Sanford (D-GA)
Blumenauer, Earl (D-OR)
Bonner, Jo (R-AL)
Boozman, John (R-AR)
Boswell, Leonard (D-IA)
Boustany, Charles W., Jr. (R-LA)
Boyd, Allen (D-FL)
Boyda, Nancy (D-KS)
Brady, Kevin (R-TX)
Braley, Bruce (D-IA)
Broun, Paul (R-GA)
Brown, Henry (R-SC)
Brown-Waite, Ginny (R-FL)
Burgess, Michael (R-TX)
Burton, Dan (R-IN)
Butterfield, G. K. (D-NC)
Buyer, Steve (R-IN)
Calvert, Ken (R-CA)
Camp, Dave (R-MI)
Campbell, John (R-CA)
Capito, Shelley Moore (R-WV)
Capuano, Michael (D-MA)
Cardoza, Dennis (D-CA)
Carnahan, Russ (D-MO)
Carter, John A. (R-TX)
Carson, Andre (D-IN)
Castle, Michael (R-DE)
Chabot, Steven (R-OH)
Chandler, Ben (D-KY)
Clay, William Lacy (D-MO)
Cleaver, Emmanuel (D-MO)
Cole, Tom (R-OK)
Conaway, Mike (R-TX)
Costello, Jerry F. (D-IL)
Courtney, Joe (D-CT)
Cramer, Bud (D-AL)
Crenshaw, Ander (R-FL)
Cubin, Barbara (R-WY)
Cuellar, Henry (D-TX)
Culberson, John Abney (R-TX)
Davis, Danny K. (D-IL)
Davis, David (R-TN)
Davis, Geoff (R-KY)
Davis, Lincoln (D-TN)
Dent, Charles W. (R-PA)
Diaz-Balart, Lincoln (R-FL)
Diaz-Balart, Mario (R-FL)
Dicks, Norman D. (D-WA)
Drake, Thelma D. (R-VA)
Donnelly, Joe (D-IN)
Doolittle, John T. (R-CA)
Edwards, Chet (D-TX)
Ehlers, Vernon J. (R-MI)
Ellsworth, Brad (D-IN)
Emerson, Jo Ann (R-MO)
English, Phil (R-PA)
Etheridge, Bob (D-NC)
Everett, Terry (R-AL)
Fallin, Mary (R-OK)
Fortenberry, Jeff (R-NE)
Fortuno, Luis G. (R-PR)
Foxx, Virginia (R-NC)
Franks, Trent (R-AZ)
Garrett, Scott (R-NJ)
Gerlach, Jim (R-PA)
Gillibrand, Kirsten (D-NY)
Gingrey, Phil (R-GA)
Goode, Virgil H., Jr. (R-VA)
Granger, Kay (R-TX)
Graves, Sam (R-MO)
Green, Al (D-TX)
Green, Gene (D-TX)
Hall, Ralph (R-TX)
Hare, Phil (D-IL)
Hastings, Doc (R-WA)
Hayes, Robin (R-NC)
Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie (D-SD)
Hill, Baron P. (D-IN)
Hobson, David L. (R-OH)
Hoekstra, Pete (R-MI)
Holden, Tim (D-PA)
Hulshof, Kenny (R-MO)
Hunter, Duncan (R-CA)
Israel, Steve (D-NY)
Johnson, Eddie B. (D-TX)
Johnson, Sam (R-TX)
Johnson, Tim (R-IL)
Jones, Stephanie Tubbs (D-OH)
Jones, Walter B. (R-NC)
Jordan, Jim (R-OH)
Kagan, Steve (D-WI)
Kind, Ron (D-WI)
King, Steve (R-IA)
Kingston, Jack (R-GA)
Kline, John (R-MN)
LaHood, Ray (R-IL)
Lamborn, Doug (R-CO)
Lampson, Nick (D-TX)
Larsen, Rick (D-WA)
Latham, Tom (R-IA)
Latta, Robert E. (R-OH)
LaTourette, Steve (R-OH)
Lewis, John (D-GA)
Lewis, Ron (R-KY)
Linder, John (R-GA)
LoBiondo, Frank (R-NJ)
Loebsack, Dave (D-IA)
Lucas, Frank D. (R-OK)
Mahoney, Tim (D-FL)
Manzullo, Donald A. (R-IL)
Marchant, Kenny (R-TX)
Matheson, Jim (D-UT)
Matsui, Doris (D-CA)
McCaul, Michael T. (R-TX)
McCotter, Thaddeus G. (R-MI)
McHenry, Patrick T. (R-NC)
McHugh, John (R-NY)
McIntyre, Mike (D-NC)
McMorris Rodgers, Cathy (R-WA)
Meeks, Gregory W. (D-NY)
Mica, John (R-FL)
Michaud, Mike (D-ME)
Miller, Candice (R-MI)
Miller, Gary G. (R-CA)
Mitchell, Harry E. (D-AZ)
Moore, Dennis (D-KS)
Moran, Jerry (R-KS)
Murphy, Chris (D-CT)
Musgrave, Marilyn N. (R-CO)
Myrick, Sue (R-NC)
Neugebauer, Randy (R-TX)
Nunes, Devin (R-CA)
Oberstar, James (D-MN)
Olver, John W. (D-MA)
Ortiz, Solomon (D-TX)
Pascrell, Bill, Jr. (D-NJ)
Paul, Ron (R-TX)
Payne, Donald M. (D-NJ)
Pearce, Stevan (R-NM)
Pence, Mike (R-IN)
Petri, Tom (R-WI)
Pitts, Joseph R. (R-PA)
Platts, Todd Russell (R-PA)
Poe, Ted (R-TX)
Pomeroy, Earl (D-ND)
Porter, Jon C. (R-NV)
Price, Tom (R-GA)
Pryce, Deborah (R-OH)
Rahall, Nick (D-WV)
Rangel, Charles B. (D-NY)
Ramstad, Jim (R-MN)
Rehberg, Dennis (R-MT)
Reyes, Silvestre (D-TX)
Reynolds, Thomas (R-NY)
Rodriquez, Ciro (D-TX)
Rogers, Harold (R-KY)
Rogers, Mike D. (R-AL)
Rogers, Mike J. (R-MI)
Roskam, Peter J. (R-IL)
Ross, Mike (D-AR)
Ruppersberger, Dutch (D-MD)
Ryan, Paul (R-WI)
Ryan, Tim (D-OH)
Scott, David (D-GA)
Sessions, Pete (R-TX)
Shea-Porter, Carol (D-NH)
Shimkus, John (R-IL)
Shuler, Heath (D-NC)
Shuster, Bill (R-PA)
Simpson, Mike (R-ID)
Sires, Albio (D-NJ)
Smith, Adrian (R-NE)
Smith, Christopher H. (R-NJ)
Souder, Mark E. (R-IN)
Space, Zack (D-OH)
Spratt, John (D-SC)
Stearns, Cliff (R-FL)
Stupak, Bart (D-MI)
Sullivan, John (R-OK)
Terry, Lee (R-NE)
Thompson, Mike (D-CA)
Thornberry, Mac (R-TX)
Tiahrt, Todd (R-KS)
Tiberi, Pat (R-OH)
Turner, Michael R. (R-OH)
Walberg, Tim (R-MI)
Walsh, Jim (R-NY)
Walden, Greg (R-OR)
Wamp, Zach (R-TN)
Weldon, Dave (R-FL)
Weller, Jerry (R-IL)
Westmoreland, Lynn (R-GA)
Whitfield, Ed (R-KY)
Wilson, Charlie (D-OH)
Wilson, Heather (R-NM)
Wilson, Joe (R-SC)
Wittman, Robert J. (R-VA)
Young, Don (R-AK)

On numerous occasions, both record label executives and artists have recognized the promotional value of free radio airplay. Such statements include:

"I have to thank... every DJ, every radio guy, every promotions guy, everybody who ever put up a poster for me and spread the word."

-- Alicia Keys, recording artist and Grammy winner, 2008 Grammy Awards, February 2008

"[R]adio remains the best way to get new music into the listeners' lives."

--Sony BMG Executive VP Butch Waugh as quoted in Radio & Records, January 11

"[R]adio is the conduit to the people, the voice of the format and the lifestyle's soundtrack."

--Sony BMG Nashville VP of Marketing Tom Baldrica, as quoted in Radio & Records, January 11

"Obviously, radio is probably the most important thing for a new rock band coming out. If you don't get yourself on the radio, then you won't draw bodies at the clubs and you won't sell records."

-- 'Another Animal' drummer Shannon Larkin, Drum Magazine, 2008

"Country radio, thank you so much for being our mouthpiece. You know what we do means nothing if it never gets played, and no one gets to hear it."

-- 'Rascal Flatts,' Vocal Group of the Year, Country Music Awards, 2007

"I can't even believe that this is real... I want to thank country radio. I'll never forget the chance you took on me."

-- Taylor Swift, Horizon Award (for best new artist), Country Music Awards, 2007

"I have yet to see the big reaction you want to see to a hit until it goes on the radio. I'm a big, big fan of radio."

-- Richard Palmese, Executive Vice President of Promotion, RCA, 2007

"Radio has proven itself time and time again to be the biggest vehicle to expose new music."

-- Ken Lane, Senior Vice President for Promotion, Island Def Jam Music Group, 2005

"It is clearly the number one way that we're getting our music exposed. Nothing else affects retail sales the way terrestrial radio does."

--Tom Biery, Senior Vice President for Promotion, Warner Bros. Records, 2005

"That's the most important thing for a label, getting your records played."

-- Eddie Daye, recording artist, 2003

"Radio helped me a lot. That's the audience. I can't see them, but I know they're there. I can't reach out and touch them with my hand, but I know they're there."

-- B.B. King, recording artist, 2002

"If a song's not on the radio, it'll never sell."

-- Mark Wright, Senior Vice President, MCA Records, 2001

"Air play is king. They play the record, it sells. If they don't, it's dead in the water."

-- Jim Mazza, President, Dreamcatcher Entertainment, 1999

"I am so grateful to radio. Their support has truly changed my life, and I hope they know how appreciative I am for that."

-- Jo Dee Messina, recording artist, 1999

About NAB
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at


National Association of Broadcasters
1 M Street SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
202 429 5300 |

© 2024 National Association of Broadcasters
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use

Connect With Us