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House Mulls Internet Tax Ban Extension

by Glen Shapiro, LawAndTax-News.com, New York

18 July 2003


Legislation designed to permanently extend the internet access tax moratorium was passed by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

According to reports, the Internet Non-Discrimination Act, sponsored by Rep Christopher cox (R-Calif), was passed on a voice vote, leading Cox to observe that: 'Today we are one step closer to permanently ensuring that Americans are free from new taxes on their e-mail and internet access.' He continued:

'New taxes discriminating against internet users would be unfair to our economy and our society. It is time to permanently ban them.'

The move was also supported by Treasury Secretary, John Snow and Commerce Secretary, Donald Evans, who, in a joint statement released following the Judiciary Committee's vote, announced that:

'Government must not slow the rollout of internet services by creating administrative barriers of imposing new access taxes. Nor should government stifle e-commerce through multiple or discriminatory taxes.'

In both the House and the Senate, where a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the moratorium extension was held this week, there appears to be an increasing reluctance to tie the issue to the state-led drive to develop a framework for collecting sales tax on all internet purchases.

Speaking on Wednesday, Commerce Committee chairman, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) confirmed this, revealing that:

'This year, I believe we can and should keep the internet tax moratorium distinct from the simplified sales tax debate.'


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