House of Representatives Passes Moratorium Legislation

WASHINGTON -Today the House of Representatives passed H.R. 49, the Internet Tax Non-Discrimination Act by voice vote. Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) strongly supports the efforts made by the House of Representatives and encourages the Senate to quickly follow their lead.

In 1998 Congress acted to put to an end taxes that unfairly single out the Internet. However, the current moratorium is scheduled to expire on November 1, 2003. Congress must act quickly to enact the Internet Tax Non-Discrimination Act, which eliminates taxes on Internet access, double-taxation of a product or service bought over the Internet, and discriminatory taxes that treat Internet purchases differently from other types of sales.

"Because Internet taxes are complicated, unfair, and an immense burden on the economy, passage of a permanent moratorium on Internet taxation is a top priority of American taxpayers," said Grover Norquist, President of ATR. "Members should take the opportunity to permanently extend the moratorium in order to keep access taxes off of the Internet."

H.R. 49 included a provision that extended the Internet tax moratorium to all providers of Internet access regardless of speed, technology or provider. The new legislation ensures that millions of Americans can access the Internet without paying state and local taxes – either directly on their access or indirectly through taxes imposed on their Internet access provider. The House of Representatives has guaranteed that Internet access is tax-free for all consumers regardless of how they access the Internet.

"If the Senate does not follow the House\’s lead and pass a new ban on Internet access taxes and multiple and discriminatory taxes it will mean a defacto tax increase on Americans at a time when they least are able to pay it," said Norquist. "This is not the time to be adding a new tax on Americans trying to keep in touch with loved ones."