Senate Committee Approves Internet Access Tax Ban
A Senate committee vote to create a permanent ban on discriminatory Internet taxes and Internet access taxes paves the way for Congress to extend the Internet tax moratorium due to expire Nov. 1.A Senate committee voted today to create a permanent ban on discriminatory Internet taxes and Internet access taxes. The committee-approved legislation, which mirrors a bill passed by a House committee earlier this month, paves the way for Congress to extend the Internet tax moratorium due to expire Nov. 1. Industry officials caution that if the ban is not at least extended before it expires, Internet retailers could be inundated with an array of new taxes from thousands of state and local taxing authorities.
As illustrated by the committees votes, lawmakers overseeing telecommunications are wary of Internet taxes and the potentially chilling effect they could have on e-commerce. Congress has temporarily extended the access tax moratorium twice before, but this year it faces mounting pressure from the states looking for new revenues in the sluggish economy. Members of Congress who do not regularly deal with technology may be more sympathetic to the states, and the legislation is likely to face some resistance as the issue moves toward floor votes.