Internet Tax Ban Introduced in House
The Hill newspaper reports that a bipartisan group of House lawmakers introduced legislation to permanently ban state and local taxes on Internet service.
The “Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act” would also ban multiple and discriminatory taxes on digital items such as emails. It would not ban taxes on online sales. The bill was introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), along with Reps. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Steve Chabot (R-Ohio). The measure is a counterpart to legislation introduced in the Senate by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and John Thune (R-S.D.).
Congress passed the Internet Tax Freedom Act in 1998 to put a moratorium on Internet service taxes. The law has been extended three times, but is scheduled to expire next year. The Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act would extend the law indefinitely.
"No one should pay a tax just to access the Internet," Eshoo said in a statement.
"In this increasingly digital age, Americans rely on access to the Internet to apply for employment, to seek and share innovative ideas, to keep governments accountable, to run small businesses, and to communicate with their families and friends," Goodlatte said.
The legislation won praise from Internet providers and other industry groups.
In a related move, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) plans to release a "statement of principles" on online sales tax legislation, according to Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.), the sponsor of a House bill that would empower states to tax online purchases. Goodlatte has expressed concerns about the Senate's version of the legislation, which passed in May.