Menu
US lawmakers push bill to permanently ban Internet access taxes

US lawmakers push bill to permanently ban Internet access taxes

Sponsors say it will promote the U.S. digital economy

A bipartisan group of five U.S. lawmakers has introduced legislation that would permanently ban Internet access taxes, with sponsors saying the bill will help keep the Internet affordable while encouraging innovation.

The Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act [PITFA], introduced in the House of Representatives on Friday, would make permanent a moratorium on Internet access taxes in place in the U.S. since 1998. Late last year, Congress extended the moratorium until Oct. 1.

Congress has temporarily extended the Internet access tax moratorium five times in the last 16 years, but sponsors argue it's time to make the ban permanent. Without an extension, U.S. residents could face a substantial increase in the cost of Internet access, with some states likely to levy taxes of 10 percent or more, sponsors said.

"Whether business owners or job seekers, grandparents or students, all Americans benefit from tax-free access to the Internet," Representative Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican and primary sponsor of the bill, said in a statement. "Internet access drives innovation and the success of our economy. It is a gateway to knowledge, opportunity, and the rest of the globe."

Some House Democrats objected last year when lawmakers pushed for a permanent ban on access taxes that would have also eliminated a grandfather clause that allows seven states, including Texas and Ohio, to collect taxes on Internet access. The grandfather clause applies to states that had access taxes in place before Congress passed the first tax moratorium in 1998.

The new bill would not eliminate the grandfather clause for those seven states.

A permanent tax ban is "the next crucial step" for promoting access to broadband and protecting the growth of the U.S. digital economy, Representative Anna Eshoo, a California Democrat and bill co-sponsor, said in a statement. "Passage of this bill would ensure that millions of consumers will not be burdened with an increase to their monthly Internet bills due to new state and local access taxes."

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentinternetlegislationAnna EshooU.S. CongressBob Goodlatte

Featured

Slideshows

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

New Zealanders kick-started EDGE 2018 with a bout of Super Rugby before a dedicated New Zealand session, in front of more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors on Hamilton Island.​

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session
EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018 kicked off with a dedicated New Zealand track, highlighting the key customer priorities across the local market, in association with Dell EMC. Delivered through EDGE Research - leveraging Kiwi data through Tech Research Asia - more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors combined during an interactive session to assess the changing spending patterns of the end-user and the subsequent impact to the channel.

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research
Show Comments