In the midst of massive COVID-19 pandemic disruption, U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) and U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) brought forth a bi-partisan proposal to offer tax relief to small businesses, residents and local newspapers.

The program is not a check but rather a tax credit for each to work together in support of keeping local journalism sustainable during this damaging business environment.

The program is highly targeted, offers broad benefit and expires in five years.

The Local Journalism Sustainability Act is designed to offer tax credits for subscribers of The Daily News (or any other qualifying newspaper) of up to $250 per year. This would allow a subscriber to earn a tax credit for subscription price to a local newspaper like The Daily News. The idea is to help individuals continue their access to local journalism during a time of economic difficulty.

The act also offers small businesses, those with fewer than 1,000 employees, a tax credit to cover up to $5,000 of advertising costs in the first year and $2,500 in each of the following four years. This will allow small businesses to drive customers while investing into qualified local journalism.

And finally, the act will offer a payroll credit of up to $25,000 the first year and $2,500 in each of the the subsequent years to employ and adequately compensate local journalists.

All elements of the act sunset after five years. Relief is given in the form of tax credits, not direct funding.

Local journalism is an important element of American society — and one we feel contributes to a better nation through the sharing of opinions, facts and the invitation for civil conversations.

The Local Journalism Sustainability Act will help local small businesses, consumers of news and smaller local community newspapers much like the newspaper in your hands today.

The Daily News is the oldest newspaper in Texas — around longer than statehood itself. We’ve always worked to provide our citizens and community a newspaper they could proudly call their own. This is our time-honored call and mission.

We are a small business and privately held. No fancy towers in New York City. No, our modest world headquarters sits right off Interstate 45 as you cross onto the island. And our employees are as local as they get. You see us at the local grocery stores, farmers markets and places of worship.

Our hope is that your support — the action of reaching out to your congressional representatives — will allow us to continue to serve and play a role in our community for years to come.

Please reach out to U.S. Rep. Randy Weber and encourage his support of the Local Journalism Sustainability Act.

• Leonard Woolsey

Leonard Woolsey: 409-683-5207; leonard.woolsey@galvnews.com

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(9) comments

Robert Braeking

Wish to sustain journalism? Perhaps the Times and others that plagiarize it would do well to print the truth and exercise due diligence in their research. Partisan rantings have no place on any but the editorial page.

If a product does not sell the government has no place in sustaining its existence. I would only support this bill if it also supported buggy whip manufacturers and pager providers.

Don Schlessinger

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Bailey Jones

The value of a local newspaper is out of proportion to the modest cost of a subscription. Especially in a county like Galveston which is only marginally covered by Houston media outlets. I'm sure there will always be those who feel they can't support a newspaper that isn't a mouthpiece for their favorite political figures, but I would argue that politics is a small part of the GCDN's mission - and I've seen no attempt to corral political opinions here. Without the GCDN, where would we go to learn of local events - Facebook? Twitter?

Wayne D Holt

Always a pleasure when we find areas of agreement, and this is definitely one of them, Bailey.

I have been gratified...and amazed..at the level of knowledge, introspection and breadth of opinion that is available to us here. While I understand some feel GDN is biased, I think as long as all sides are allowed to weigh in and express disagreement with any opinion or publisher's perspective, it is still a free press in the truest sense of the term and certainly worth preserving.

Has anyone looked at what passes for news in most regional media these days? A discussion of the dynamics leading to the establishment of the Confederacy (such as has raged here) would never see the light of day. Earnest and thought provoking responses to the news features written by contributing reporters makes us all participants in a free press, not just observers.

I will definitely support this bill as 1) I think it is in the spirit of nurturing American freedom of the press and 2) anything that puts less jingle in Uncles Sam's cup is OK by me.

Bailey Jones

I think I've said it before, Wayne, but I truly enjoy this newspaper. I've always lived in large metro areas where the news might have been well reported, but was rarely relevant on a personal level. This is much more like my old college paper, where almost every story was about something, or someone, I had a connection to.

Diane Turski

I support this Act!

Wayne D Holt

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

James Woodall

[thumbup]

Virginia Stone

I support this act and always will.

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