House to vote to extend Internet tax ban

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The House next week is expected to approve a proposal that would extend a law that bans state and local taxes on Internet access. 

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has scheduled a Tuesday vote on the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, which was introduced by Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and has 188 co-sponsors.

{mosads}The bill will be considered under suspension of rules and is largely noncontroversial. A similar proposal was passed last Congress by voice vote, but it got sidetracked in the Senate. 

The original ban has been around since 1998, has been extended a number of times since then and is scheduled to sunset again.

Lawmakers have looked to extend it for the long term. The proposal also bars discriminatory taxes on e-commerce. 

A similar proposal in the Senate has 49 co-sponsors. Some lawmakers last Congress attempted to tie a long-term extension to a more contentious proposal that would allow states to collect online sales taxes from purchases made anywhere in the country.

The proposal was sponsored by Republican Sen. Mike Enzi (Wyo.), the current Budget chairman, but ran into resistance in the House.

The tax ban was also featured in the debate about the Federal Communications Commission’s new net neutrality order that reclassified broadband Internet under authority governing traditional telephones. Critics of the proposal said the rules opened the door to a number of taxes on Internet access, including at the state level. 

The FCC rejected those claims pointing to the law, but critics still argue the order would open the door to new fees that could eventually be passed along to customers.  

Tags Bob Goodlatte Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act
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