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February 13, 2016

Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act Passes Congress

IPI expert referenced: Tom Giovanetti | In The News | Media Hit
  Laurel Leader Call

Congress has voted to permanently bar state and local governments from taxing access to the Internet, as lawmakers leapt at an election-year chance to demonstrate their opposition to imposing levies on online service. For 17 years, the ban on Internet taxes has benefited millions of Americans by empowering them to conduct transactions on the Internet free from the fear of additional tax burdens.

"This is a tremendous victory for America's Internet economy, and for all of us who participate in this economy", said Institute for Policy Innovation president Tom Giovanetti.

A long era of uncertainty over the future of Internet taxes may be coming to a close.

The National Venture Capital Association also supports the new legislation. "People in southern Wisconsin should not have to worry about something as vital as Internet access being taxed by any government at any level", said Ian Martorana, press secretary for House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville.

Since 1998, Congress has passed a series of bills temporarily prohibiting state and local governments from taxing online access, but states including Hawaii, have been able to do so. "Montana is one of a few states that would automatically impose a 3.75 percent tax on Internet access if the moratorium is lifted". In emailed remarks, Thune said, "The passage of this bill is a victory for the Internet, entrepreneurs, and South Dakota consumers who now pay this tax on their monthly cable or cell phone bill". This, in turn, would reduce private sector investment in deploying broadband, especially in rural areas, and inhibit entrepreneurship. The commissioner also said he hopes the bill to be enacted soon.

Blunt is an original cosponsor of S. 431, the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act, which was included in the conference report to accompany H.R.644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, that passed the Senate earlier today. "Achievement of that objective is now at hand [actually it will be the President's hand, which will be signing the bill into law]". ITFA was never made permanent, even though it received bipartisan support.

The House passed its version of the measure past year, which was applauded by House Speaker Paul Ryan. "This is a big win for America's consumers".


 

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