Tags: The | Scourge | Internet | Taxes

The Scourge of Internet Taxes

Monday, 02 February 2004 12:00 AM

The actions that Congress took to put to an end taxes that unfairly single out the Internet have come to an end, and the Internet Tax Freedom Act — which set a moratorium on Internet taxes — has expired.

A band of Tax the Net Senators led by Lamar "Sundquist" Alexander (R-Tenn.) (nicknamed after the erstwhile tax-hiking Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and their special interest friends, the National Governor Association (NGA) and the Multi-State Tax Commission (MTC), prevented the Senate from passing a new and permanent ban on Internet access and multiple and discriminatory taxes.

Because of their actions, Americans now face the prospects of paying taxes on everything from email to instant messages and filters for spam or junk email. These taxes will hit schools, libraries, hospitals and families - those who use the Internet for research, education, and, most critically, communication.

Enacted in 1998 and extended in 2001, the Internet Tax Freedom Act has protected consumers who use the Internet and encouraged more individuals to access it.

Congress eliminated taxes on Internet access, double-taxation of a product or service bought over the Internet, and discriminatory taxes that treated Internet purchases differently from other types of sales.

The moratorium on Internet taxes led to the rapid growth of the Internet, which in turn brought good economic news. New purchasing options for consumers and businesses caused Internet commerce to soar, and this growth created a new sector of high-paying jobs and economic prosperity around the country.

Unfortunately, when State deficits ballooned due to unrealistic economic forecasting and overspending during the the 1990s, many elected officials advocated taxing Internet access and commerce as a way to balance their budgets and create a new revenue stream, instead of cutting spending and reigning in government programs in an effort to balance their budgets.

Legislators are lining up to claim that without taxing the Internet, they must result to drastic measures to keep schools open, felons off the street, and lights on in government buildings.

However, this argument is in direct opposition to the facts.

A study by the National Conference of State Legislators shows that state and local receipts have been rising smartly for the past six quarters, reaching a new quarterly record, to $1.409 trillion, in the third period of 2003. That's up nearly $100 billion from a year earlier, and about $78 billion in just the past nine months.

The main reason politicians are calling for taxes on the last enterprise that is truly tax free is because they have failed to control spending.

If politicians stopped spending like folks who just won the lottery, states and localities would see their deficit vanish entirely within an-other few months of growth.

On September 17, 2003, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a permanent ban on all Internet access taxes. However, when the bill came to the Senate floor, pro-Internet tax Senators used parliamentary and other underhanded procedural tricks to force supporters of the legislation into negotiations.

These Senators worked tirelessly to address the concerns expressed by the pro-tax senators and their special interest friends.

However, these tax the net supporters used the negotiations to stall and stop final passage of a permanent ban on Internet access taxes in order to achieve their true desire and tax the Internet.

The Internet is sparking a sharp increase in entrepreneurship and opportunity, the likes of which have not been seen since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

Enacting a tax Internet access will significantly damage the American economy and lower the standard of living for all Americans.

© 2003 www.atf.org. All Rights Reserved.

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The actions that Congress took to put to an end taxes that unfairly single out the Internet have come to an end, and the Internet Tax Freedom Act - which set a moratorium on Internet taxes - has expired. A band of Tax the Net Senators led by Lamar "Sundquist" Alexander...
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Monday, 02 February 2004 12:00 AM
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