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Welcome to Congressman Larry Bucshon

Representing the 8th District of Indiana

Dr. Bucshon on House Floor: Permanently Extend Internet Tax Freedom Act

July 15, 2014
Press Release

On Tuesday, Representative Larry Bucshon spoke on the House Floor in support of H.R. 3086, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act. H.R. 3086 permanently extends the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA); a law enacted in 1998 that placed a moratorium on state and local governments taxing internet access.  The bill has over 200 bipartisan cosponsors and passed the House unanimously.

Full text of Dr. Bucshon’s comments is provided below and video can be accessed here.

“Thank you. I rise in strong support of H.R. 3086, the “Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act.”

“I believe that this permanent extension is necessary to ensure the internet remains accessible for all Americans. 

“The internet economy is growing and changing every day, and this pro growth legislation will support the vibrant online marketplace of goods and ideas by preventing state and local tax policies from creating barriers to access. 

“Americans use the internet every day to communicate, to work, and to get an education – they shouldn’t have to pay an unnecessary, unfair tax to do so.

“I thank Chairman Goodlatte for his work on this important, bipartisan bill. I urge all my colleagues to vote yes and I yield back the balance of my time.”

BACKGROUND:

ITFA, enacted in 1998, prohibited states and localities from imposing new taxes on Internet access or imposing multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce. Although the law was extended multiple times, ITFA is set to expire on November 1, 2014.

Personal Internet usage by American adults increased from 14% in 1995 to 86% in 2013.[1]  Individuals increasingly rely on it to access healthcare information, education, and career opportunities.  In addition, the Internet has played an increasingly critical role in the U.S. economy, “becom[ing] the primary driver of U.S. economic growth, innovation and productivity.”[2] These and other uses demonstrate the vast number of individuals—students, job seekers, employees, and employers—who would be impacted if the ITFA tax moratoriums were allowed to lapse.  The state telecommunications taxes that would be permitted to go into effect could be significant, and would disproportionately impact low income households, who “pay ten times as much in communications taxes as high income households as a share of income.”[3] As the Internet becomes even more ubiquitous, H.R. 3086 gives users certainty by ensuring the tax moratoriums contained in ITFA are permanently in place. (Information courtesy the House Republican Conference)

[1] House Judiciary Committee Report 113-510; pg. 5
[2] House Judiciary Committee Report 113-510; pg. 5
[3] House Judiciary Committee Report 113-510; pg. 6