Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Support Grows for Banning Internet Access Taxes Forever

Thanks to the Internet Tax Freedom Act of 1998, consumers have been able to benefit from access to the Internet free from state and local taxes for well over a decade. And, the digital marketplace has grown and thrived thanks, at least in part, to this access tax ban. However, in November of this year, the moratorium on Internet access taxes expires unless Congress takes action to extend the ban or make it permanent.  

In a Perspectives published in October of last year, I discussed the many positive effects of free Internet access. The current regime prohibiting Internet access taxes has fostered economic growth and investment, technological innovation, and broadband deployment and adoption. For instance, a 2011 McKinsey study ranked the United States as the most prominent country in the “global Internet supply ecosystem,” attaining more than 30% of global Internet revenues and more than 40% of net income. If an Internet access tax were imposed, the thriving Internet economy may be threatened.

Thankfully, support for a permanent moratorium on Internet access taxes has been growing in the House and the Senate. And, interest groups like have made available a petition to allow the public to voice their support for continuing to ban Internet access taxes. The enactment of a permanent ban on Internet access taxes will promote the availability of information, continued technological innovation, and the economic success of the digital marketplace.