Congress wants to permanently ban taxes on Internet

A group of bipartisan lawmakers moved to make a permanent ban on Internet service taxes.

Although most states have already put a kibosh on such fees, thanks to a federal band on Internet service taxes, critics say it's only a short-term measure.

Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), respectively the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, reintroduced legislation they say will permanently prevent federal, state or local governments from levying taxes on broadband ISPs.

Bipartisan support for the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act is widespread with 38 co-sponsors supporting the proposed law.

"Our bill, which would permanently ban Internet taxation, would encourage more American innovators and entrepreneurs to use broadband to develop the next big thing," Thune said in a written statement, "while keeping the Internet open and accessible to consumers across the country."

Although a ban on ISP taxes has been in place since 1998, it was written to be only temporary. This meant that Congress had to reauthorize it four times over the past 17 years.

Despite the bill's potential, there is one potential stumbling block.

Seven states, including Hawaii, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin, had Internet taxes in place before 1998 that were grandfathered in as part of the temporary ban's language. The concern is that even if the new law passed, residents in those states might have to continue to pay the state's Internet service taxes.

For more:
- The Daily Dot has this article

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