Washington D.C- A big win today for proponents of an all-out Internet access tax ban, as the House of Representatives passed the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act. The bill includes a provision to extend the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA) and would implement a permanent ban on Internet access taxation by state and local governments.
Though widely supported by both sides of the political field, the ban on internet access taxes has only been renewed in short increments since its inception in 1998, and any effort to pass a permanent ban had been bogged down by attempts to affix an online sales tax clause.
In a Floor Statement made yesterday, Chairman Bob Goodlatte stated, “Congress has passed numerous temporary bans with enormous bipartisan support. Earlier this year, a permanent ban passed the House by voice vote. Section 922 merely prevents Internet access taxes and unfair multiple or discriminatory taxes on e-commerce.” Chairman Kevin Brady said, “Access to the Internet matters… The costs of allowing states to increase taxes dramatically, I think, would be damaging to those who in fact need that access.”
Today it seems his efforts are have succeeded as sponsors cheered on the bill’s passage. A permanent ban “is a necessary measure to keep Internet access free of taxation forever and ensure the Internet is more affordable for the American people,” stated Reps. Goodlatte, Marino, and Chabot. “The American people deserve affordable access to the Internet and a permanent ban on the Internet access tax will help prevent unreasonable cost increases that hurt consumers and slow job creation.”
Grover Norquist has written several letters to Congress over the last few days urging that the Internet access tax ban remain included in the bill. Read Grover Norquist’s letter to the House and Senate, and subsequent letter to the Senate and letter to the House.