As newspapers across America struggle through a brutal economic climate, papers in Washington state are getting a tax break.

A new law that gives newspaper printers and publishers a 40 per cent cut in Washington’s main business tax took effect this week, providing some much-needed relief to the business after a year in which The Seattle Post-Intelligencer printed its final edition and other papers suffered drastic cutbacks.

The Washington tax cut, which will cost the state about $1.3 million a year, was approved despite uneasiness in the industry about newspapers relying on the government they cover for help.

But there was also a recognition that these are historic times for the industry.