Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bill would shift tax data to Internet, costing newspapers

The Reno Gazette-Journal is conducting another round of furloughs. The Las Vegas Review-Journal let go one of its two capital bureau reporters before the legislative session. And at many newspapers, newsmen and women who depart aren’t being replaced.

Then there is Assembly Bill 307, a kick in the industry’s teeth or maybe another nail in its coffin. The bill would lift the requirement that counties publish property tax assessments in newspapers. The information would instead be made available on the Internet.

The benefit: A saving to taxpayers. Clark County, for example, would save about $500,000 a year.

The cost: Newspapers, such as the Review-Journal — and indirectly through a joint-operating agreement the Las Vegas Sun — and Gazette-Journal would see one more source of revenue go away.

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