Let's Keep the Internet Tax Free
We reported in December that Congress would have a chance in 2016 to pass a permanent extension to the Internet Tax Freedom Act, or ITFA, thereby ensuring that America’s Internet users never see taxes go up on their Internet access. January has come and it’s expected that Congress will soon have the opportunity to permanently prevent state and local governments from taxing Internet access.
In our December blog post, we said ITFA would stop Internet access from being exposed to “aggressive tax collectors [who put] at risk all those who rely on the Internet.” The fact of the matter is that the Internet is more than a convenience. It’s the way millions of Americans connect and thousands of small businesses sell their wares. It’s how students get ahead, and rural residents connect with doctors hundreds of miles away. Policy makers recognize that it is important to encourage adoption by keeping the cost of access down. That’s why keeping the Internet tax moratorium receives such strong bipartisan support year after year.
Today, 45 organizations signed a letter supporting ITFA, saying “In the 17 years since Congress first passed a ban on Internet access taxes, the Internet has evolved from a luxury into a necessity of modern life.” ITFA helps consumers maintain access to the Internet by protecting them from the kinds of high-rate taxes normally imposed on telecommunications services – many of which can be twice as high as those imposed on normal goods and services.
Congress has a chance to stop the cycle of temporary reprieves and act to make ITFA permanent. We hope they do so.