Congress has called on President to end outdated, regressive telecommunications tax

WASHINGTON– On Friday October 13, the Senate joined the House of Representatives in calling on the President to end the federal excise tax on telecommunications.  This year marks the third century that Americans have been paying this tax, which was implemented to fund the Spanish-American war.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, issued the following statement urging President Clinton to end the federal excise tax on telecommunications:

"Friday\’s victory in the Senate was a major milestone in our efforts to put an end to this outdated and regressive tax, but the fight is not yet over.  Unfortunately, the Clinton-Gore Administration has been reluctant to implement any tax cuts and once again, it looks as though the Clinton-Gore Administration will continue to stick it to the hardworking taxpayers of America because of the Administration\’s partisan politics."

"I worked with Governor James Gilmore (R-VA) and other pro-taxpayer allies on the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce (ACEC) to shine the spotlight on this tax which was implemented more than 100 years ago as a \’luxury tax\’ to fund the Spanish-American War.

"In the 1800s, the telephone was considered a luxury.  But the telephone has gone from a luxury to a necessity and this tax has become one of the most regressive burdens saddled on the poor.  Unfortunately, the representatives of the Clinton-Gore Administration who served with me on the ACEC fought the pro-taxpayer forces every step of the way as we sought to bring an end to this regressive tax and provide tax relief for millions of lower income families.

"The effort to end this regressive tax has received broad, bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate, and ATR urges President Clinton to bridge the partisan divide by joining Congress in an effort to break down the digital divide."