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House Passes Permanent Internet Access Tax Ban
by Karl Bode 07:53AM Thursday Jul 17 2014
The House this week quietly passed a permanent ban on Internet access taxes, making permanent the Internet Tax Freedom Act of 1998, which was extended in 2007. "This legislation prevents a surprise tax hike on Americans' critical services this fall,” said House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte. "It also maintains unfettered access to one of the most unique gateways to knowledge and engine of self-improvement in all of human history." Should the ban also pass the Senate, states will have to work harder than ever to get their pound of flesh via other online transaction taxes.

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bigballer

@205.214.216.x

why not...

add some useless FCC fees such as "access to internet fee, useless fee, access to rural internet fee, etc etc."

dangermouse

@69.180.232.x

Comcast

If a temporary ban is already in place, why is Comcast in Murfreesboro TN collecting a 32 cent / month internet access fee? The chanrge first appeared on my bill when I moved here from another Comcast-covered city. When I called Comcast, they said it was an internet access tax levied by the city that goes to schools.

What if this permanent ban is ignored like the temporary ban?

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Re: Comcast

said by dangermouse :

If a temporary ban is already in place, why is Comcast in Murfreesboro TN collecting a 32 cent / month internet access fee? The chanrge first appeared on my bill when I moved here from another Comcast-covered city. When I called Comcast, they said it was an internet access tax levied by the city that goes to schools.

What if this permanent ban is ignored like the temporary ban?

Some areas has taxes before the ban originally went into effect and were grandfathered in. I believe Texas also has a tax that predates the ban. Those taxes will be canceled if this bill passes.

Personally I am all for it. New York would probably pass a tax as 12:00:01AM the moment the moratorium expires. Some things should be free from taxes. Especially those things that are considered necessary to have and which are subsidized for low income people.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.
tkdslr

join:2004-04-24
Pompano Beach, FL
Reviews:
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Certain taxes were grandfathered(1998) in on the original Internet tax freedom act. Eight "first mover" states can tax Internet access under the grandfather clause: Hawaii, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

per »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_taxes
TN treats internet services as telecommunications and taxes it thusly.

The grandfather clause remains, this bill just extends the new internet taxes moratorium indefinitely, and several "first mover" states have repealed their internet taxes, and can no longer reenact them.

Unfortunately, the Senate is likely to attached this bill to a Nasty sales Tax on all internet purchases called "Marketplace Fairness Act.". Chances of this provision becoming law are 50-50.
Mr Guy

join:2014-05-06
USA

Re: Comcast

said by tkdslr:

per »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_taxes
TN treats internet services as telecommunications and taxes it thusly.

As person that actually lives in TN and has for 21 years I have never been charged internet taxes. Not on cable or DSL or even cell phone.
tkdslr

join:2004-04-24
Pompano Beach, FL

Re: Comcast

The telecom tax could be a local option..

WHT

join:2010-03-26
Rosston, TX
kudos:5
said by tkdslr:

Eight "first mover" states can tax Internet access [...] Texas

For as long as I can remember Texas excluded the first $25 of monthly internet access from tax.

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Evanston, IL

don't be foolish

If anyone thinks this won't be rescinded in the future, get real.
--
A sane approach to our federal budget: Ignore the tea party
Brim77

join:2012-03-16
Lansing, MI

Hypocrisy at its finest.

"This legislation prevents a SURPRISE tax hike on Americans' critical services this fall."

Yet bi-yearly rate hikes at three times the rate of inflation is perfectly acceptable.

NO

@50.182.54.x

Re: Hypocrisy at its finest.

said by Brim77:

Yet bi-yearly rate hikes at three times the rate of inflation is perfectly acceptable.

Not acceptable, but legal. Want to stop these rising fees? STOP SUBSCRIBING. Then fees will start dropping.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

USF Fee?

What the heck is the USF fee if not an "access" fee.

fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR

Re: USF Fee?

said by rradina:

What the heck is the USF fee if not an "access" fee.

From a consumer pocketbook perspective, there is very little difference. From an accounting and policy perspective, they are very different.

Sales taxes go to the individual state treasury, whereas USF is a federal fee that does not go to the states (caveat: several states have their own USF and in those states you will see two line items on your bill, one for federal USF and a second for state USF).

Taxes generally go into a "general fund" in order to fund general government operations. USF is collected by a quasi-governmental agency called the Universal Service Administration Corporation (USAC); the money is NOT available for general government use. It is part of a special fund, and is actually (for the most part) returned to telcos (but not cable companies) to deploy POTS and high speed Internet access.

A small part is held back as a reserve and to pay USAC's operating costs, which includes auditing the operation of USF "Contributors" to ensure (like a tax audit) that contributors pay their fair share.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: USF Fee?

I don't see any difference. Sure, there are intended differences but it's just musical chair nonsense and as your first sentence implies, no difference to the consumer pocketbook.

The only thing significant is the house bill makes it so only the federal government can start and stop the music.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY

taxes, schmaxes...

this law does NOTHING to prevent ISPs from putting below the line fees such as Verizon's MUNICIPAL construction fee for all NYC FIOS bills.. about $1 each..
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

Re: taxes, schmaxes...

No, but it does prevent the state from doing so.
That's nice for a change.
WhatNow
Premium
join:2009-05-06
Charlotte, NC
That should also be illegal. I can see the day when the below the line fees cost more then the service. The ads will say internet $20/month your bill will be $75 before government fees/taxes.

JakCrow

join:2001-12-06
Palo Alto, CA

"Unfettered access"? Irony?

Especially when on any other day these same asshats are trying to rush thru laws and regulations that would allow corporations and the government to monitor Americans internet use and control the internet more and more.

CCNnorthcali

join:2004-03-07
San Francisco, CA

Still Hard to Avoid Taxes

Let me preface by saying I'm not opposed to paying my fair share. However, here in San Francisco I pay almost $14 in taxes on the landline that is required to get DSL internet access through Sonic.net. So even though I don't pay taxes on internet, I do pay taxes to get internet. Excessively high in my opinion.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

Re: Still Hard to Avoid Taxes

On Fusion, that choice was made for you by Sonic, not the government.

They used to sell the service without requiring dialtone.

atuarre
Here come the drums
Premium
join:2004-02-14
Conroe, TX

RE

Now I know I am tired...I saw the headline and i was half asleep when I first saw it and thought, "Oh, they are going to permanently ban taxes on ordering things from online retailers"

Imagine my shock when I'm fully awake, come on here, and realize what the headline really said.
WhatNow
Premium
join:2009-05-06
Charlotte, NC

Re: RE

Hate to break the news too you but one party wants sales taxes to carry all the tax burden so they can cut taxes for the 1%.

fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR

I hate taxes, too, but . . .

Back in the '90s when retail Internet access was a young nascent industry, making it tax exempt made some sense in order to encourage the public to sign up.

Does anybody believe the Internet is still a young, new and small industry that needs protection from taxes? We pay sales taxes for telephone service, gas, water and electricity. If the Internet is truly a utility like everyone says, then there's no reason why it deserves special consideration. We tax purchases made by phone, why not purchases made over the Internet? If I buy a book in a local store, I pay sales taxes -- why should the same purchase from Amazon be tax exempt?

Other than hating taxes in general, can anyone give me a reason why the Internet should be exempted?

cb14

join:2013-02-04
Miami Beach, FL
Reviews:
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Re: I hate taxes, too, but . . .

said by fg8578:

Back in the '90s when retail Internet access was a young nascent industry, making it tax exempt made some sense in order to encourage the public to sign up.

Does anybody believe the Internet is still a young, new and small industry that needs protection from taxes? We pay sales taxes for telephone service, gas, water and electricity. If the Internet is truly a utility like everyone says, then there's no reason why it deserves special consideration. We tax purchases made by phone, why not purchases made over the Internet? If I buy a book in a local store, I pay sales taxes -- why should the same purchase from Amazon be tax exempt?

Other than hating taxes in general, can anyone give me a reason why the Internet should be exempted?

Because internet in the US is already obscenely overpriced and millions of lower income people cannot afford it at all or only with great difficulties. And yes, other telecom services should not be taxed either.
Taxing power, natural gas or water is perfectly fine because it encourages people to save those resources. That should be the only reason to have sale's tax- taxing environmentally damaging and resource hogging products.
Sales taxes generally hurt lower incomes far worse than high incomes.