The following is cross-posted on

Last Thursday, the Louisiana House of Representatives approved a 15-cent per month tax on Louisianans’ internet access. While it sounds like a small sum, the bill (HB 569) is expected to generate $2.4 million a year beginning in 2010.

The tax hike also attempts to circumvent federal law. Under the Internet Tax Freedom Act, recently reauthorized in 2007, states are barred from adding any new taxes on internet access, which is precisely what HB 569 attempts to do. Calling the tax a “fee” to bypass this law is not only misleading, but would invite significant and costly legal challenge if adopted.

While proponents of the bill, such as Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and bill sponsor Rep. Mack "Bodi" White (R-Denham Springs), argue the money will go toward the commendable goal of fighting cybercrime, funding for investigations and prosecutions should come from existing budgets set for these priorities – not new taxes on Louisiana residents. Claiming that more revenue from another tax is necessary shows that this is the lowest – not the highest – priority.


The bill passed 81-9 in the House and now heads to the State Senate. Luckily for Louisianans, Gov. Bobby Jindal is expected to veto the measure if passed by the legislature.

Click here for a copy of ATR’s letter to the Louisiana State Senate in opposition to the measure.

(photo by stevesheriw)