Pittsburgh City Council votes to tax billboards

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Editor’s note: The Associated Press reported that the Pittsburgh City Council voted 9-0 on Nov. 27 to approve the 10% excise tax on billboards.

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh City Council has tentatively approved a 10% excise tax on billboards, but a leading outdoor advertising company says it will fight the plan in court.

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that the City Council on Nov. 19 voted 7-2 to impose the tax. The city says the tax could generate up to $4 million annually.

But a lawyer for Lamar Advertising of Baton Rouge, La., says billboards are protected under the First Amendment. Jonathan Kamin says Lamar will sue in federal court if the bill gets final approval next week.

Last month Lamar used area billboards to criticize council members who proposed the tax.

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