WASHINGTON (Aug. 1, 2013) — Legislation to make permanent the existing ban on Internet access taxes and on multiple and discriminatory taxes on e-commerce has been introduced in the U.S. Senate.
The Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) — also known as the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act — was introduced by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and John Thune, R-S.D. It originally was enacted in 1998, extended three times and is scheduled to expire Nov. 1, 2014.
"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," Mr. Wyden said in a statement. "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.
"Consumers, entrepreneurs and innovators can breathe easy knowing that a permanent extension of ITFA is on its way."
Mr. Thune added that "use of Internet technology is one of the key drivers of economic growth, innovation and information in our 21st century economy. Keeping the Internet accessible to consumers encourages innovation and investment in our global economy.
"Our legislation would make permanent the prohibition on Internet access taxes, would prevent multiple and discriminatory taxes on Internet commerce, and would promote Internet access throughout the country, which is especially important in rural areas of South Dakota."
The senators' statement explained that, "in the early days of the Internet, state and local jurisdictions sought to impose multiple and discriminatory taxes on the new medium. This practice threatened to stifle innovation and economic growth of this economic platform.
"In 1998, Sen. Wyden co-wrote the original ITFA to place a moratorium on such taxes and successfully reauthorized the law three times in the intervening years.
"This legislation would make those protections permanent, giving online innovators and entrepreneurs the stability they need to grow their businesses."