Broadband tax ban may become permanent, thrilling CenturyLink, other providers

Congress is likely to pass a new law that will permanently ban states from levying taxes on Internet broadband services.

Although the moratorium, which is known as the Internet Tax Freedom Act, was originally passed in 1998, it has been required to be renewed every year.

In June, the House of Representatives passed a permanent ban on specific broadband taxes.

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, seven states -- including Hawaii, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin -- currently tax users' Internet access. Collectively, these seven states would lose $561 million in revenue if they could no longer collect these taxes.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said in an AP article the new proposal would mean that small businesses and consumers will "finally be free from the threat of hundreds of dollars in new taxes each year, just to access the Internet."

The proposed ban was welcomed by CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), which said that the law would it give service providers more certainty to expand broadband service availability.

"Making the Internet tax moratorium permanent is sound economic policy that brings certainty to the market and encourages broadband adoption and network investment," said John Jones, SVP of public policy and government relations for CenturyLink, in a statement.

For more:
- AP has this article
- The Hill article
- DSL Reports has this article

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