On January 19, 2016, Steve Pociask, President of the American Consumer Institute, published a Forbes article entitled “Keep The Internet Tax-Free.” Mr. Pociask says that the proposed provisions included in H.R. 644, which would permanently ban Internet access taxes, should be supported for a couple of reasons. He states that taxes on Internet access would reduce revenues for Internet service providers (ISPs) and would increase the price consumers pay for Internet access. Mr. Pociask states that such revenue losses would stifle investment and lead to fewer jobs created in the information economy because ISPs would not be able to cover their fixed costs. He also says that an increase in the price of Internet access would discourage prospective consumers from adopting Internet access and discourage current consumers from expanding their use of Internet-based services, ultimately leading to less tax revenue, not more.
The Internet has brought wonderful benefits to consumers over the past 20 years, but artificially increasing the price of Internet access (through federal, state, or local taxes) would certainly harm innovation and investment and diminish consumer benefits. It is time that Congress permanently ban Internet access taxes.
Read Mr. Pociask’s article here.