The House of Representatives could vote on extending the Internet tax ban this week.
The so-called Internet Nondiscrimination Act was introduced by the House Judiciary Committee last week, with House Republican leader Dick Armey of Texas aiming for a vote by the full House this week. The bill would extend the current Net tax moratorium, which expires October 2001, for another five years, as well as block some 30,000 different tax jurisdictions from aiming at the Internet.
"We're going to keep the Internet tax-free," said Armey in a statement. "In our e-contract with High Tech America, we committed to eliminating barriers to e-commerce. This is just the first step. We will also ban access charges that are barriers to those who want to access the Internet. This comprehensive approach to e-commerce will expand digital opportunities for every American."
California Republican Christopher Cox, who heads the House Policy Committee, sides with Armey about keeping the taxman off the Net and added that Internet taxes never really became a significant source of government revenues. That stands opposed to state and local governments which claim a tax-free Net deprives them of revenues and benefits e-commerce unfairly. "The facts are in, and conclusively so," Cox told Conservative News Service. "The Internet economy is generating tremendous tax revenue for state and local government. Making the moratorium on new and discriminatory Internet taxes permanent will help sustain that growth in jobs, wages and government revenue."