TPA Joins Coalition Urging Senate to Pass Permanent Ban on Internet Access Taxes

Michi Iljazi

January 21, 2016

The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) continues to fight a number of battles in order to make certain taxpayers won’t have new or increasing taxes coming from federal and state governments. In the next few weeks Congress has an opportunity to end one potential new tax forever and that’s Internet access taxes. Passage of H.R. 644, Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 by a vote of 256-158 in the House in late December was a critical step because legislation contained the “Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act” (PITFA), which will forever eliminate any threat of tax increases for Internet access. Now, the Senate must act in kind to end the threat of Internet access taxes permanently. Keeping that in mind, TPA signed onto this coalition letter (click here) this morning urging Senate leadership to keep the PITFA provision and pass the bill.

Read the full letter below:

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Harry Reid
Minority Leader
522 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

January 21, 2016

Dear Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Reid,

The undersigned organizations, which represent millions of American consumers, strongly support the permanent extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) in H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act. Our organizations have a variety of missions and represent Americans from all walks of life and on all sides of the political spectrum, and it’s very rare that we agree on policy or work together in a unified manner. But this issue is different.  We support ITFA because it’s a permanent ban on taxing access to the Internet is critical to all Americans and the future of our overall economy.

In the 17 years since Congress first passed a ban on Internet access taxes, the Internet has evolved from a luxury into a necessity of modern life. ITFA helped to spark this revolution. From healthcare to education, small business entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, the Internet has dramatically transformed the way we live, work, and learn.

In particular, ITFA plays a critical role in helping to keep the cost of Internet access affordable. It has protected most consumers from paying state and local taxes on their Internet access services. Without ITFA, it is likely these services would be taxed at the high rates of tax imposed on traditional telecommunication services, which often are more than double the rate of tax imposed on other goods and services. 

After decades of progress in connecting more Americans to the Internet, the lack of a permanent ban on Internet access taxes could reverse this progress. Numerous studies continue to show that cost remains an obstacle to Internet access and, if taxes on the Internet go up, even fewer people will be able to afford to go online. This would impede our nation’s long held goal of universal Internet access.

We urge you to act swiftly and decisively to pass a permanent extension of ITFA which is a good pro-consumer tax policy with overwhelming bipartisan support and a policy that will directly benefit your constituents and further propel our economy into the digital age.

Sincerely,

Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council 
American Commitment
American Consumer Institute
Americans for Tax Reform
Center for Individual Freedom
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Computing Technology Industry Association 
Consumer Action
Digital Liberty
Hispanic Heritage Foundation
Hispanic Leadership Fund
Hispanic Technology & Telecommunications Council 
Independent Women’s Forum
Independent Women’s Voice
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Latino Coalition
LULAC 
Madery Bridge Associates
Media Freedom
National Association of Black County Officials
National Association of Manufacturers
National Association of Neighborhoods
National Black Caucus of State Legislators
National Black Chamber of Commerce
National Caucus of the Black Aged
National Coalition for Black Civic Participation
National Foundation for Women Legislators
National Hispanic Council on Aging
National Organization of Black County Officials
National Puerto Rican Coalition
National Taxpayers Union
NOBEL Women
R Street Institute
SER—Jobs for Progress
Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council 
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
TechFreedom
Technology Councils of North America 
United Spinal Association
US Black Chamber
US Chamber of Commerce
US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
US Hispanic Leadership Institute
Women Impacting Public Policy

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