Economics Technology

Fighting to Keep the Internet Tax Free

The politicians in Washington continue to work overtime in an effort to begin taxing Internet commerce as heavily as the rest of the nation. Armed with money from physical retailers whose business is daily assaulted by the likes of Amazon.com and other online retailers these politicians are fighting tooth and nail to make sure that they have the chance milk every dollar from us that they can. Countering these warriors of oppression, freedom fighters from across the nation are banding together in an effort to keep the Internet tax free.


 

Activists continued to press for congressional action on Internet taxation Friday, hoping for a vote in the lame-duck session.

A coalition of trade associations sent a letter to congressional leaders in both parties on Thursday, urging them to pass a permanent moratorium against state and local taxes on Internet access.

The Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) Coalition, which represents “companies that collectively provide Internet access services to over 275 million broadband, cable, and wireless subscribers nationwide,” claimed that passing the ITFA before the current law expires on December 11, 2014 “will encourage economic growth by enabling more citizens to innovate and engage in today’s digital economy.”

If Congress fails to act, the letter warns, consumers could face “excessive sales and communications taxes, at rates averaging double the general business sales tax rate, expanded to Internet services,” from web browsing to email. (RELATED: Costly Internet Tax Could be on the Horizon)

no internet taxEven a 10 percent increase in price, according to a study by the Phoenix Center cited in the letter, “would reverse six years of broadband adoption gains.”

In an associated press release, USTelecom President Walter McCormick said, “Passage of this legislation will help promote economic growth and innovation while continuing to support affordable Internet access.”

“Keeping Internet access free from state and local taxes has been a fundamental principle since the Internet was introduced to American consumers,” added Michael Powell, president and CEO of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

There have been efforts in both chambers during the current Congress to pass versions of ITFA, and although the House bill passed easily by a voice vote, the Senate version remains stuck in committee despite having secured 53 co-sponsors. (RELATED: Congress Mulls Internet Access Taxes for Millions of Americans)

A different Senate bill, which some have blamed for holding up the vote, combines a ten-year extension of ITFA with another bill, the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA), which would allow states and cities to collect sales taxes on out-of-state Internet purchases.

Although the letter never mentions the MFA directly, it clearly implies that the Coalition would like Senate leaders to bring a standalone version of ITFA, which has the support of a majority of senators, to a vote, rather than trying to build support for a combined bill, which is more controversial. (RELATED: We Might See HUGE Taxes Just for Using the Internet, Thanks to Harry Reid)

However, Jason Brewer, VP of communications and advocacy for the Retail Industry Leaders Association, which supports both ITFA and MFA, told The Daily Caller News Foundation that, “Given the short window for voting in lame duck, we believe it makes sense to solve both of these issues simultaneously,” adding that Congress should “finish its work this year.”

Source

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


About the author

Onan Coca

Onan is the Editor-in-Chief at Liberty Alliance media group. He's also the managing editor at Eaglerising.com, Constitution.com and the managing partner at iPatriot.com. You can read more of his writing at Eagle Rising.
Onan is a graduate of Liberty University (2003) and earned his M.Ed. at Western Governors University in 2012. Onan lives in Atlanta with his wife and their three wonderful children.

Don't Miss Out!!

Get your daily dose of Eagle Rising by entering your email address below.

STAY IN THE LOOP
Don't miss a thing. Sign up for our email newsletter to become an insider.

Send this to friend