A new spending bill of $1.1 trillion was released on Tuesday and is being referred to as “CRomnibus,” because it is partially a continuing resolution and partially omnibus. CRomnibus includes a provision that would extend the ban on Internet taxes for a year. According to The Hill, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), who coauthored the Internet Tax Freedom Act the late 1990s, still remains one of the biggest voices in Congress supporting the elimination of Internet taxes. Senator Wyden said: “A fair and open Internet is an engine of economic growth in America, a launching pad for entrepreneurs and history’s most powerful tool of communication.”
There have been several FSF blogs in recent months promoting the adoption of the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act, which would permanently ban state and local taxes on Internet access, pending Senate action. (See here, here, and here.) Although a permanent ban would be preferable, at this point a one year extension of the ban is certainly better than nothing. However, supporters of an online-sales tax likely will push for opposing legislation next year.
If this bill passes (and it looks like it will), it will mean at least an additional year of Internet-driven and market-driven innovation, content, and economic growth.