TPA Submits Written Testimony in Support of Indiana SB80 to Ban Internet Access Taxes

Michi Iljazi

February 16, 2015

Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) sent written testimony in support of Indiana Senate Bill 80, the Indiana Tax Freedom Act. The legislation would ensure “that neither the statenor a political subdivision may impose, assess, collect, or attempt tocollect a tax on Internet access or the use of Internet access.” TPA has been a strong supporter of keeping the ban on Internet access taxes permanaent and we have repeatedly called on Congress to do the right thing for taxpayers and the economy by passing a permanent ban that applies to all states. SB80 would safeguard against a worst case scenario of failure to act by Congress before the ban expires in 226 days. TPA hopes the Indiana General Assembly will pass this legislation and protect taxpayers from new taxes on Internet access.

Read TPA’s written testimony on SB80 below

February 16, 2015

Senator Carlin Yoder

200 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204

RE: Senate Bill No. 80

Dear Sen. Yoder:

The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), representing taxpayers in Indiana, and nationwide, submits the following to the Indiana State Legislature as written testimony in support of Senate Bill 80 (SB 80), a bill that “provides that neither the state nor a political subdivision may impose, assess, collect, or attempt to collect a tax on Internet access or the use of Internet access.”

TPA strongly supports this bill and urges members of the Indiana State Senate to pass SB 80.  Passage of this legislation will ensure that millions of Internet users in the state of Indiana will be protected from unnecessary and harmful Internet access taxes.

Any tax increase for Internet access would impact the state of Indiana in a number of negative ways.  Hard working Hoosiers who simply go online for their own personal, educational, or professional purposes would be affected the most as their Internet bills would increase. Indiana’s middle class families are already being squeezed in today’s wage-stagnant economy, there is no reason to make things more expensive for these folks by taxing Internet access.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics & Bureau of Census, there are more than four million Indiana residents connected to the Internet, whether it be at home, at work or other locations. Those same government reports also show that “23.6% of the population connected on multiple devices.” Statistics from the US Census Bureau also show that “73.5% of all Indiana residents live in a household where Internet is available.” SB 80 would guarantee that the more than four million Hoosiers who are connected to the Internet would not be subject to new taxes just for logging on from their computer, tablet, smart phone, game console, or television.

Households are not the only ones who will be hurt by Internet access taxes.  Small businesses, schools and colleges, hospitals and emergency services, also rely heavily on the Internet.  Creating barriers to access such as increased taxes could have a chilling effect on those businesses and educational facilities that rely on the Internet.

For the last 16 years there has been a temporary ban on Internet access taxes at the federal level. Congress has extended the moratorium in 2001, 2004, and 2007.   While it is important the Congress pass a permanent ban on Internet Access Taxes, SB80 would be ensure that if Congress failed to act, Internet users in Indiana would be protected from any new taxes that would take effect should the federal moratorium expire.

Nearly two decades have passed with an Internet that has been free of access taxes.  And, as a result, there has been a great deal of innovation and commerce. New taxes on the Internet would hinder this innovation and certainly have a negative impact in terms of the economic activity that has made the Internet so important.

TPA hopes that members of Indiana Senate will think about the consequences that would result from new taxes on Internet users in the state.  Passage of SB 80 will protect millions of Hoosiers from an unnecessary and counterproductive tax increase.

Regards,

David Williams
President
Taxpayers Protection Alliance

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