Thune calls for permanent ban on Internet tax

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) called on Congress to pass a bill that would permanently extend a moratorium on taxing the Internet.

“Taxes will be levied if we don’t act by November,” Thune said on the Senate floor Thursday. “Rather than wait for angry constituents, let’s be proactive and pass this bill today.”

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Thune said he hopes the Senate takes up the bill when it returns in June from a weeklong Memorial Day recess.

Thune is a co-sponsor of Sen. Ron Wyden’s (D-Ore.) Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act, S. 1431, which would permanently extend the current moratorium on state and local Internet taxation, set to expire on Nov. 1.

He said the legislation is important because it would free Congress from having to revisit the issue and helps expand access to broadband around the country.

“By not taxing we encourage broadband investment,” Thune said. “We cannot take for granted that the moratorium on Internet taxes has increased access.”

Thune said if Congress doesn’t act, Internet providers would be forced to pass along the cost of taxes onto consumers, raising the price of Internet access.