Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed a provision within the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (H.R. 644) permanently banning state taxation of Internet access.
A temporary ban was first put in place in 1998. Since then, Congress has extended it multiple times with enormous bipartisan support. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) has long sought to make the ban permanent.
Today’s provision originally passed the House as H.R. 235, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA). It permanently bans states from taxing Internet access or placing multiple or discriminatory taxes on e-commerce. PITFA passed in both this Congress and the 113th by voice-vote.
Were the existing, temporary moratorium permitted to lapse, the potential tax burden on Americans would be substantial. It is estimated that Internet access tax rates could be more than twice the average rate of all other goods and services. Low-income households could pay 10 times as much as high-income households as a share of income.
The last thing that Americans need is another tax bill on their doorsteps. Taxes on Internet access would burden the millions of Americans who rely on the Internet to conduct business, communicate, educate, and live. Americans are far too used to seeing myriad of taxes and fees at the bottom of their cable and telephone bills. Now that the House of Representatives has made the ban permanent, Americans will be protected permanently from seeing a long list of taxes on their Internet bills.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law Chairman Tom Marino (R-Pa.), and Congressman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) issued the following statement after the passage of the provision:
“We applaud the bipartisan passage of a permanent ban on the Internet access tax today in the House. Making the ban on the Internet access tax permanent is a necessary measure to keep Internet access free of taxation forever and ensure the Internet is more affordable for the American people. Internet access drives innovation and the success of our economy. It is a gateway to knowledge, opportunity, and the rest of the world. The American people deserve affordable access to the Internet and a permanent ban on the Internet access tax will help prevent unreasonable cost increases that hurt consumers and slow job creation.”