Lawmakers in Congress have included a fourth renewal on the ban on Internet access taxes as part of a spending deal to avert a government shutdown.
The $1.1 trillion spending plan includes an extension until Oct. 1, 2015, of a ban on taxing Internet access, along with many other provisions. Proponents of the Marketplace Fairness Act had wanted to tie together renewal of the ban on Internet access taxes with legislation making it easier for states to collect sales taxes from Internet retailers. The Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act last year, but Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, has resisted bringing the legislation up for a vote in the House despite pressure from trade groups representing brick-and-mortar retailers.
Supporters of the ban on taxing Internet service provider fees had worried that taxes on Internet access might be imposed unless lawmakers worked out a deal before Congress adjourns. Senate Finance Committee chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., praised the inclusion of a one-year extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which he originally wrote in 1998 with Republican Congressman Christopher Cox of California, in a bill to fund the federal government. The Internet Tax Freedom Act prohibits state and local government from levying discriminatory taxes on Internet taxes and services. Without the ITFA, consumers would face a swift increase in the cost of Internet access and services, his office noted.
Wyden has also proposed the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act, with 52 co-sponsors, which would permanently protect Internet access from taxes instead of requiring periodic renewal on the ban.
“A fair and open Internet is an engine of economic growth in America, a launching pad for entrepreneurs and history’s most powerful tool of communication,” Wyden said in a statement Tuesday. “By extending this bill, the Congress has, for the short term, ensured that this longstanding policy keeps Internet access tax-free. I’m going to continue fighting to ensure that these protections will bolster the digital economy for the long-term.”
Congress is expected to vote this week on passing the spending plan to avoid a federal government shutdown.
Register or login for access to this item and much more
All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.
Community members receive:
- All recent and archived articles
- Conference offers and updates
- A full menu of enewsletter options
- Web seminars, white papers, ebooks
Already have an account? Log In
Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access