WASHINGTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Today, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) applauded the introduction of H.R. 3086, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.). This legislation would make permanent the Internet tax moratorium first established in the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) of 1998 by prohibiting the imposition of access taxes at the federal, state, and local level. CCAGW also signed a coalition letter in support of the bill with the Internet Tax Freedom Act Coalition (ITFA.)
“CCAGW is thrilled that Congress is moving to permanently prevent Americans from being subjected to taxes on Internet access. This legislation will benefit taxpayers, consumers, and businesses in a growing digitally-focused society.”
The moratorium has contributed to the Internet’s remarkable expansion and availability. Internet use has grown to 2.3 billion individuals, which is two billion more than when the moratorium was first enacted in 1998. Online sales have increased from $24 billion in 2004 to $57 billion in 2012.
On August 27, 2012, CCAGW reported on a proposal by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to impose fees or taxes on Internet service to expand the Universal Service Fund into the Connect America Fund which is intended to bring broadband services to Americans not currently connected to the Internet as part of the National Broadband Plan. Subsequent reports indicated that the FCC pulled back from that position, though there is still a possibility that the Internet will continue to be a target of opportunity for revenue seekers at all levels of government if the moratorium is not made permanent.
The ITFA has allowed the IT industry to expand services that are utilized by customers to include such options as high speed broadband capability, mobile Internet connections, and cloud computing services. As the number of Americans accessing broadband services and the Internet continues to expand, legislation such as H.R. 3086 is imperative for continued success. The Senate version of this bill, S. 1431, was introduced by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) on August 1, 2013.
“The Internet has become a vital part of the global economy and keeping access tax-free is essential for economic growth,” said CCAGW President Tom Schatz. “CCAGW is thrilled that Congress is moving to permanently prevent Americans from being subjected to taxes on Internet access. This legislation will benefit taxpayers, consumers, and businesses in a growing digitally-focused society.”
The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.