TPA Joins Broad Coalition Urging Senate to Stop Internet Access Taxes

Michi Iljazi

September 8, 2014

The clock is ticking for taxpayers as there are only slightly more than 53 days left until the moratorium on Internet access taxes expires, and Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is helping to keep the focus on making sure the moratorium is extended permanently. Congress returns to Washington, D.C. after a more than month-long recess and this issue is something that they must address in the limited working time they have remaining this session. Last week, Americans for Tax Reform and Digital Liberty sent a coalition letter to the hill urging Congress act and imploring the Senate to follow the lead of the House and pass a bill that will extend the moratorium on Internet access taxes. In the letter, TPA, along with many state and national organizations praise the House for passing H.R. 3086, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA); and urges the Senate to pass S. 1432, the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act (ITFFA), sponsored by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). TPA hopes the Senate will act soon so that millions of Americans can continue to utilize the web without the threat of added Internet taxes looming over them.

Read the full letter below:

Coalition Letter in Favor of a Permanent Internet Tax Moratorium

Dear Senators,

On behalf of the undersigned, we encourage you to pass a clean permanent extension of the Internet Tax Moratorium, and commend the House of Representatives on passage of H.R. 3086, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA).

Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have introduced S. 1432, the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act (ITFFA), which mirrors the House language. Both ITFFA and PITFA reauthorize and make permanent legislation that has been U.S. national policy since 1998. The clean Internet access tax moratorium overwhelmingly passed the House, and similarly a clean ITFFA will easily pass the Senate, and again protect unfettered access to Internet connections.

Americans would be overjoyed to see Congress agree, and pass, legislation that protects consumers from increased costs when accessing and using the Internet, and protects them from discriminatory or duplicative taxation of Internet commerce.

Taxes on communications services are already punitive and discriminatory. The average sales tax rate on voice services is 17 percent, and 12 percent on video services, while the average general sales tax rate is 7 percent. A clean ITFFA would at the very least prevent this targeted tax on Internet access.

Excessive taxes will hinder continued growth in the digital space. The FCC’s National Broadband Plan states that the largest barrier to consumer adoption and expanded use of Internet based services is cost. Allowing the Internet access tax moratorium to lapse would certainly lead to higher tax rates on consumers and thus reduce the rate of adoption and innovation. The Internet is our greatest gateway to innovation and education, higher taxes on Internet access undermines American economic competiveness and growth.

We encourage the Senate to act now to permanently extend the Moratorium on Internet Access Taxes.

Sincerely,

Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform

Lisa B. Nelson, CEO, American Legislative Exchange Council

Katie McAuliffe, Digital Liberty

Diana Waterman, Chair, Annapolis, MD Center-Right Coalition

Morgan Reed, Executive Director, ACT | The App Association

Chuck Muth, President, Citizen Outreach, Mt. Reagan, Nevada

Phil Kerpen, President, American Commitment

Mac Zimmerman, Director of Policy, Americans for Prosperity

Eunie Smith, President, Eagle Forum of Alabama

Steve Pociask, President, American Consumer Institute, Center for Citizen Research

Norman Singleton, VP of Policy, Campaign for Liberty

Christopher P. Finney, Esq., Finney Law Firm, LLC, Cincinnati, Ohio

Brian Garst, Director of Government Affairs, Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Richard Watson, Co-Chair, Florida Center-Right Coalition

Timothy Lee, Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs, Center for Individual Freedom

Stephen P. Gordon, President, Forward Focus Media, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia

Clyde Wayne Crews, Vice President for Policy, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Louie Hunter, Director, Georgia Center Right Coalition

Ryan Radia, Associate Director of Technology Studies, Competitive Enterprise Institute

William Keli’i Akina, Ph.D., President/CEO, Grassroot Institute of Hawi’i

Thomas A. Schatz, President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Darcie L. Johnston, President Johnston Consulting, Inc., Montpelier, Vermont

Wayne Brough, Chief Economist and Vice President of Research, Freedom Works Marty Connors, M.J. Connors Consulting, Government Relations, Birmingham, Alabama

George Landrith, President, Frontiers of Freedom

Jack Boyle, Co-Founder & President, Put Growth First

William Estrada, Director of Federal Relations, Home School Legal Defense Association Ohio

Andrew Langer, President CEO, Institute for Liberty

Charlie Gerow, Quantum Communications, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Seton Motley, President, Less Government

Mike Stenhouse, CEO, Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity

Bartlett Cleland, Managing Director, MaderyBridge

John Colyandro, Executive Director, Texas Conservative Coalition, Research Institute

Mike Wendy, Director, MediaFreedom

Paul Gessing, President, Rio Grande Foundation

Brandon Arnold , Executive Vice President, National Taxpayers Union

Steve DelBianco, Executive Director, NetChoice

Scott Cleland, Chairman, NetCompetition, President of Precursor LLC

Lorenzo Montanari, Executive Director, Property Rights Alliance

Andrew Moylan, Executive Director and Senior Fellow, R Street Institute

David Williams, President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Jason Pye, Editor, United Liberty

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