NH lawmakers seek to nix Net taxes

Internet access would not be subject to state taxation in New Hampshire, under a Republican-led proposal in the state Legislature.

Lawmakers in the state Senate and House are jointly developing a proposal to ban the practice of taxing Internet access in the Granite State.

The effort is led by Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Morse, R-Concord, and House Finance Chairman Kenneth Weyler, R-Kingston, The Associated Press reported.

Proponents said the legislation is intended to update the state's 1991 Communications Services Tax (CST), which was enacted almost a decade before wireless operators began rolling out now-widely-used 3G and 4G LTE wireless broadband data services.

What’s more, they said, CST does not define the meaning of the "Internet" nor "Internet" access. 

Morse and Weyler argue also that current statute has created confusion among state tax officials, service providers, lawmakers and consumers. 

"In an effort to enforce the CST, our Department of Revenue (DRA) has recently begun auditing a number of communications companies for taxes on the data and communication services necessary to provide Internet access, particularly as it relates to smart phones that can access the web," Morse said. "This has put DRA at odds with the telecommunications industry because these companies do not believe CST should be applied to the Internet access they provide."

Morse added that there's a need to define “Internet” and “Internet access” in a way that allows for continued evolution of the technology without a communications services tax paid for by New Hampshire consumers.

The Senate Finance Committee is set to consider the proposal April 19.

For more:
The Boston Globe via AP has this article

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