February 23, 2004

Allen and Wyden Respond to Attacks onInternet Access Tax Ban

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senators George Allen (R-VA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) issued the following response to attacks today on S. 150 the Internet Tax Non-Discrimination Act.Our bill focuses on protecting the American consumers from the overbearing arms of state and local tax commissars. Do we want to continue to grow and expand our economy, our small businesses and educational resources or do we want to impose a stifling tax on consumers? I believe the Internet should remain as accessible as possible to all people, in all parts of the country, said Allen.No matter how the proponents of this new legislation describe it, they are making the same old argument: that Internet access is a cash cow and they think states should start milking, said Wyden. The Wyden-Allen bill (S. 150) seeks to renew and update a law that has worked for consumers and has worked for the Internet and under which states have yet to provide examples of real financial injury. States cant lose millions of dollars they were never allowed to collect in the first place. Opponents of S. 150 are just looking to open the barn door to a whole new raft of taxes on technology users.Senators Allen and Wyden introduced S. 150 on January 13, 2003. The bill, which has received support from President Bush, would permanently extend the moratorium on Internet access taxes as well as multiple and discriminatory taxes on Internet transactions.The Allen-Wyden bill would positively impact small businesses, rural communities and lower income Americans. It would decrease the economic digital divide, by increasing the availability of high-speed broadband, which is essential for economic and educational opportunities, concluded Allen.