By Brendan Sasso - 09/12/13 10:31 PM EDT
A bipartisan group of House lawmakers introduced legislation on Thursday to permanently ban state and local taxes on Internet service.
Their bill, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act, would also ban multiple and discriminatory taxes on digital items such as emails. It would not ban taxes on online sales.
Congress passed the Internet Tax Freedom Act in 1998 to put a moratorium on Internet service taxes. The law has been extended three times, but is scheduled to expire next year. The Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act would extend the law indefinitely.
The bill was introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteBob GoodlatteCongress leaving for seven-week recess Bipartisan House group to work on police issues House conservatives 'committed' to impeaching IRS chief MORE (R-Va.) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), along with Reps. Spencer BachusSpencer BachusThe FDA should approve the first disease-modifying treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Study: Payday lenders fill GOP coffers Pope Francis encourages building bridges to address challenges MORE (R-Ala.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Steve Chabot (R-Ohio). The measure is a counterpart to legislation introduced in the Senate by Sens. Ron WydenRon WydenThe Hill's 12:30 Report Tim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense Dems push for US, EU cooperation on China's market status MORE (D-Ore.) and John ThuneJohn ThuneTim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense FCC chief pushes phone companies to offer free robocall blocking How the new aviation law will affect your travel MORE (R-S.D.).
"No one should pay a tax just to access the Internet," Eshoo said in a statement.
"In this increasingly digital age, Americans rely on access to the Internet to apply for employment, to seek and share innovative ideas, to keep governments accountable, to run small businesses, and to communicate with their families and friends," Goodlatte said.
The legislation won praise from Internet providers and other industry groups.
Twitter announces IPO: Twitter announced (via Twitter of course) that it has filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering.
AllThingsD notes that Twitter must be taking advantage of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which allows companies to make initial filings with the SEC without public scrutiny. The fact that Twitter is using the JOBS Act means its annual revenue must be less than $1 billion.
Action on online sales tax: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) plans to release a "statement of principles" on online sales tax legislation, according to Rep. Steve WomackSteve WomackObscure lawmaker thwarts Never Trump movement GOP passes rules vote over outcry from Trump opponents A fix for the well-intended ethanol flop MORE (R-Ark.), the sponsor of the bill.
The action could be an indication that Goodlatte is serious about moving the bill, which would empower states to tax online purchases. He has expressed concerns about the Senate's version of the legislation, which passed in May.
California Dems concerned about 911 data: Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and 12 other California Democrats urged the Federal Communications Commission to investigate reports that many 911 cellphone calls lack location data.
More than half of the 911 cellphone calls in five areas in California failed to provide precise information about the caller's location to the emergency dispatcher, according to a study released last month by CalNENA, the California chapter of the National Emergency Number Association.
"With an increasing number of 9-1-1 calls being placed from wireless phones, accurate location information ensures our first responders are able to render assistance in a timely manner,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter to the FCC. “To that end, we urge you to carefully review all available data, including the CALNENA report and relevant mobile carrier information to determine the underlying factors for this trend.”
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Teresa Stanek Rea, the acting director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, said she will step down.
Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyTim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense FCC chief pushes phone companies to offer free robocall blocking Markey floats bill bringing internet to developing world MORE (D-Mass.) is expanding his investigation into how often police acquire personal data from cellphone carriers.
FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn forcefully defended her agency's Lifeline phone subsidy.
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Correction: This post previously misidentified the home state of Sen. Thune. He is from South Dakota.