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January 14, 2003
WASHINGTON -- In an effort to keep the Internet open to all Americans, U.S. Senator George Allen (R-Va.) introduced legislation today to permanently extend the moratorium on Internet access taxes and discriminatory taxes. The current moratorium is set to expire in November of this year. As promised, this is the first piece of legislation Senator Allen has introduced for the 108th Congress.“I am one who stands on the side of freedom of the Internet, trusting free people and entrepreneurs – not on the side of making this advancement in technology easier to tax for the tax collectors,” said Senator Allen. “Surprisingly, there are some in this debate who in effect argue in favor of discriminatory Internet taxes, or even for taxes accessing the Internet itself. My question to them is, under what circumstances in the future would such new taxes ever be fair or good public policy? The answer is that there will never be a time to tax access to the Internet nor to impose discriminatory taxes on interstate commerce.”Senator Allen’s legislation will permanently ban taxes on Internet access, as well as taxes on Internet transactions by multiple jurisdictions, and discriminatory taxes that “unfairly target Internet transactions.”“Given the current state of the technology market as a whole, a decrease in consumption resulting from Internet access taxes could destroy what glimmer of hope remains for many telecommunications and technology manufacturers,” said Senator Allen. “We want to help create job opportunities – not burden this important sector of our economy.”“I want to make sure that we encourage an environment for every American to have access to the Internet. I am concerned that if this Congress were to allow discriminatory taxes on Internet access it would allow State governments to exacerbate to the ‘economic digital divide,” said Senator Allen. “For every dollar added to the cost of Internet access, we can expect to see lost utilization of the Internet by thousands of lower income families nationwide – and loss of their use of the Internet as a tool for education and opportunity.”“New Internet taxes would cut into the growth of e-commerce and slow Internet adoption at a time when the industry badly needs more customers – not more taxes,” said Denise Tayloe, President and CEO of Privo Inc., a Springfield, Virginia-based company specializing in the development of registration and privacy tools for websites.“The Center for Individual Freedom applauds Senator Allen for his continued leadership in the fight to keep the Internet free from multiple, discriminatory, and Internet access taxes,” said Jeffrey Mazzella, the Center for Freedom’s Sr. Vice President of Legislative Affairs. “The Center looks forward to working with the Senator to ensure its quick passage.”In 2001, Senator Allen introduced similar legislation (S.777) and was one of the leaders in the effort to extend the moratorium on Internet taxes for two more years.
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