House Votes to Keep Internet Tax Offline
Four More Years

Internet tax moratorium extension passes 405-2

Washington, DC – On Tuesday the House of Representatives approved another temporary extension to the Internet Tax Freedom Act, originally passed in 1998.  By acting before the November 1st expiration of the current ban on Internet taxation, the House has taken an important step toward protecting taxpayers and the forces behind technological innovation.  The extension, HR 3678, passed with a vote of 405 to 2.    

Unfortunately, the bill does not make the current moratorium permanent, despite broad support for a permanent ban on taxing Internet access.  Rep. Anne Eshoo’s (D-CA) permanent bill, which has 238 cosponsors, was not considered on the floor, nor were amendments allowed under the rules for the vote.  In addition to the temporary extension of the tax prohibition, the HR 3678 also extends the grandfather provisions for the handful of states that had taxed the Internet prior to 1998 and exempts states that collect gross receipts taxes. 

“The extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act is a win for taxpayers.  However, a permanent ban on Internet taxation is necessary to show innovators that the government isn’t just lurking in the shadows for a few more years,” said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “A temporary extension is a great – but it is a stop-gap measure.  A permanent ban would send a signal that the Internet is still open for growth and development.”

The Senate is expected to quickly move forward with the extension.  Previously, the Senate Commerce committee had been scheduled to move forward with a bill to extend the moratorium on Internet taxation.  However, when it became clear that there was enough support for a permanent ban on Internet taxes, Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) postponed the markup of the temporary extension.     

 “I applaud those members of Congress who join Senators Wyden, Sununu and Rep. Eshoo in calling for a permanent ban on Internet taxation,” continued Norquist. “As the Senate moves forward, I urge senators to support at least the temporary extension, as well as the permanent ban on Internet access taxes.”