The proposed FY 2021 budget includes a proposed sales tax on “lobbying services.” We argued that this tax would amount to a direct levy on the exercise of political speech, a quintessential First Amendment activity. We additionally noted that by solely applying this tax to lobbying, and not any peripheral services related to it – such as public relations or political consulting – the core exercise of the First Amendment right to petition the government for the redress of grievances was particularly being singled out for adverse treatment. Our testimony noted that this budget provision could have a significant fiscal impact on many non-profit organizations that engage in lobbying, including the ACLU itself.


Held for Further Study