Bill seeks to make permanent Internet tax ban

A bill introduced in the Senate Aug. 1 would make permanent the existing ban on Internet access taxes and on other taxes on e-commerce.

The legislation, the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act, would prohibit Internet taxes without requiring periodic extensions. The existing law prohibiting the taxes, The Internet Tax Freedom Act, was enacted in 1998 and has been extended three times by Congress. The latest extension is due to expire Nov. 1, 2014.

The bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and John Thune (R-SD), would extend forever the prohibition on taxes imposed by state and local jurisdictions on Internet commerce and access.

“As the Internet Tax Freedom Act enabled and promoted Internet access and adoption across America, the Internet became a platform to facilitate global commerce, sparking nothing short of an economic revolution,” said Wyden, who co-wrote the original ITFA in 1998.

“It facilitated the development and growth of the digital economy and has created new industries and the good-paying jobs that come along with them.”

It is widely seen that the state and local taxes in the early days of the Internet would have seriously impeded its growth and thriving e-commerce.

“Use of Internet technology is one of the key drivers of economic growth, innovation and information in our 21st century economy,” said Thune. “Keeping the Internet accessible to consumers encourages innovation and investment in our global economy.”