The House Ways and Means Committee is considering a bill that would keep the Internet tax-free permanently.
Rep. Anna G. Eshoo, D-Calif., introduced the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act of 2007 on Jan. 31. Congressional members on both sides of the aisle co-sponsored the bill, including Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.
The first Internet tax moratorium was put into effect in 1998 because Congress said it wanted to encourage online commerce. The suspension was extended for another three years in 2004 and is slated to expire this November.
Because of the tremendous value [the Internet] brings to all aspects of our lives, we need to encourage its usage and do everything we can to ensure that Internet access is universal, Eshoo said.
The United States Telecom Association (USTelecom) said it supported the bill to ban Internet access taxes for good. If the moratorium were to expire, said Walter B. McCormick Jr., president and CEO of USTelecom, the likely resulting increase in state and local taxes on Internet access would limit consumer choice, force some customers to pay more for high-speed service and could discourage broadband adoption.
Several Senate members Ron Wyden, D-Ore., John McCain, R-Ariz., and John Sununu, R-N.H. have introduced similar legislation to prevent multiple and discriminatory taxes on Internet taxes.
United States Telecom Association www.ustelecom.org
U.S. House www.house.gov
U.S. Senate www.senate.gov