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Clear Channel: City ‘billboard tax’ passed only to prevent arts budget cuts

A Baltimore law imposing an annual regulatory fee on outdoor ads was passed by the City Council in order to prevent funding cuts for arts and culture programs, according to the company alleging it is being specifically targeted by the law. Clear Channel Outdoor Inc. has paid the city $1.5 million annually since the law went into effect in July 2013. City budgets for fiscal years 2013 and 2014 included $1 million in billboard revenue that allowed the city to "avoid cutting an equal amount from its arts and culture program budget," according to Clear Channel.

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