The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Keeping Internet Access Free of Taxes

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.


On November 1, 2014, the moratorium banning discriminatory taxes on the Internet and taxes on Internet access imposed by the Internet Tax Freedom Act in 1998 will expire.  At the time the legislation was initially enacted, the Internet had approximately 300 million users.  Since then, the number of users on the Internet has increased to nearly 2.3 billion world-wide.

With large bipartisan support, the original 1998 ban was extended in 2001, 2004, and 2008, with the extensions of the moratorium ensuring that all forms of Internet access would be covered on a technology neutral basis.  For fifteen years now, millions of Americans have benefited from the innovations in commerce, communications, and technology that have been fostered by the ban on these taxes.

Since the general public was first offered the opportunity to surf the World Wide Web in 1992, the Internet has encountered remarkable growth and innovation in technology.  Consumers have been empowered by access to an Internet free from taxation, enabling entry into jobs, education, healthcare and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Internet business and commerce have become an important part of the economy, and the ban on discriminatory taxes and taxes on access has been a contributing factor.  As the economy will undoubtedly continue to be more digitally-focused, America has much to gain from keeping this sector unshackled from the burdens that come from over regulation and taxation.  With the moratorium’s expiration date looming ahead, it is time to make this ban permanent.

 

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