House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), and Congressman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) introduced H.R. 3086, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act. The Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act keeps Internet access affordable, drives innovation, and promotes access to the Internet as a critical gateway to jobs, education, healthcare, and entrepreneurial opportunities.
The bill specifically makes permanent the provisions of the Internet Tax Freedom Act. First enacted in 1998, the Internet Tax Freedom Act placed a moratorium on the ability of state and local governments to impose new taxes on Internet access or to impose multiple or discriminatory taxes on e-commerce. The Senate companion bill (S.1431) to the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act was introduced on August 1, 2013 by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Oreg.) and John Thune (R-S.D.).
Below are statements from sponsors Chairman Goodlatte, Congresswoman Eshoo, Subcommittee Chairman Bachus, Subcommittee Ranking Member Cohen, and Congressman Chabot on the introduction of the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act.
Chairman Goodlatte: "The Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act ensures that Americans can continue to access the Internet tax-free. In this increasingly digital age, Americans rely on access to the Internet to apply for employment, to seek and share innovative ideas, to keep governments accountable, to run small businesses, and to communicate with their families and friends. This legislation will help ensure more Americans have access to this tremendous medium by reducing cost barriers."
Congresswoman Eshoo: "Access to the Internet has transformed the lives of millions of Americans, businesses and schools. It has driven us to new heights of innovation and led to billions of dollars in economic growth. Unfortunately, consumers will be faced with new state and local taxes to get online unless Congress permanently extends a ban on Internet access taxation. No one should pay a tax just to access the Internet, and the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act rightfully ensures just that. Its passage would be marked progress toward ensuring the Internet remains universally accessible and encourage its use by all."
Subcommittee Chairman Bachus:"The Internet is a vital part of our economy and our daily lives, and there should not be a tax imposed for the simple act of using it. The Internet Tax Freedom Act has had my support since its initial adoption and I am pleased to be a cosponsor of legislation to extend it."
Subcommittee Ranking Member Cohen: "The internet has become a driving force in our economy, but regressive taxes on internet access could have a chilling effect that ripples throughout the nation. During these tough economic times, state and local governments are understandably looking to raise revenue needed to provide critical services, but unfair and unnecessary taxes on internet access--a cornerstone of our 21st century lives--are not the right way to do it. The Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act will help prevent unreasonable price increases for consumers that ultimately harm our businesses and stunt our economic growth."
Congressman Chabot: "When we first enacted the Internet tax moratorium back in 1998, the rapid growth of the Internet had made it an enticing target for hundreds of taxing jurisdictions across the country. In the years since, the Internet has continued to grow and to thrive free from the stifling effects of overtaxation, and is now an indispensable tool for commerce, education and social interaction. Making the Internet tax moratorium permanent will ensure that this valuable tool remains accessible and affordable for millions of American families now and in the future. I thank Chairman Goodlatte for working with me and my colleagues to draft this important legislation."