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Would Internet Taxes Threaten Innovation?


On September 12, 2013, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House Judiciary Committee introduced the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, which would "make permanent the provisions of the Internet Tax Freedom Act," first enacted in 1998. The current moratorium on taxing internet access is set to expire in 2014.

Statements by the sponsors of the bill centered on innovation and access:

  • Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA): "This legislation will help ensure more Americans have access to this tremendous medium by reducing cost barriers."
  • Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA): "Access to the Internet … has driven us to new heights of innovation and led to billions of dollars in economic growth…. No one should pay a tax just to access the Internet…."
  • Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Cohen (D-TN): The Internet has become a driving force in our economy, but regressive taxes on Internet Access could have a chilling effect that ripples throughout the nation."

Legislation to permanently extend the Internet Tax Freedom Act was introduced in the House at the start of 2013 but gained no traction. The bill introduced on the 12th seems better positioned to move.

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.