Americans for Tax Reform may rate cosponsorship

WASHINGTON – Rep. Chris Cox (R-CA) and Sen. George Allen (R-VA) today are introducing legislation to permanently extend the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which would prohibit states and localities from imposing taxes on Internet access. In a letter to House and Senate Republicans, Americans for Tax Reform urged cosponsorship of the legislation, and added that cosponsorship might be included in ATR’s annual congressional ratings.

In late 2004, President Bush signed legislation extending the moratorium for three years. However, that extension will expire in 2007, when pro-tax forces will likely push for loopholes in the ban, or will lobby to allow the moratorium to expire.

“The Internet has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade, in large part because the government kept its hands off” said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) in Washington, DC, “To soak Internet providers and users with access taxes would have a disastrous effect on the rapid innovation that has defined the Internet. Making the moratorium on access taxes permanent will allow the Internet to flourish with the certainty that access taxes aren’t waiting just around the corner.”

In the 108th Congress, legislation to extend the moratorium became so bogged down in congressional dithering over loopholes that the moratorium had expired a full year before Congress passed the extension.