Wyden calls for short-term ban on Internet tax

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) called on the Senate to pass a short-term extension of a ban on Internet access taxes. 

“Don’t hit the internet with discriminatory taxation,” Wyden said on the Senate floor Thursday. “I hope that the Senate will join me in supporting the temporary extension ... as a bridge to permanent legislation.”

The Internet Tax Freedom Act expires on Nov. 1, and Democratic leaders are pushing to extend the moratorium through 2014. 

Earlier Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said it was his goal to bring a reauthorization of the Internet Tax Freedom Act to the floor when senators return in September from the five-week August recess.

Some lawmakers are pushing to include a bill that would give states more power to charge a sales tax on online purchases to the reauthorization. That idea is opposed by lawmakers from states that don’t have a sales tax.

Wyden said senators should first focus on a short-term extension before forcing the issue of online sales tax.

—Bernie Becker contributed to this article.