December 03, 2004

Wyden Internet Tax Moratorium Bill Signed Into Law at White House

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden attended a White House ceremony today as President Bush signed the Internet Tax Non-Discrimination Act (S. 150) into law. The legislation authored by Wyden, U.S. Rep. Chris Cox (R-Calif.) and U.S. Senator George Allen (R-Va.) extends the ban on multiple and discriminatory taxation on the Internet until October 31st 2007. The bill, which passed in the Senate earlier this year and cleared the House of Representatives last month, bans three types of taxes that unfairly single out the Internet, including regressive taxes on Internet access, multiple taxation (for example, by two or more States) of a product or service bought over the Internet, and discriminatory taxes that treat Internet purchases differently from other types of sales. "This final step restores vital protections from unfair and discriminatory taxes for Oregon Internet users, online consumers and web entrepreneurs," said Wyden. "This law will keep the web an active and growing means of communication, business and education, and preserve and grow the Internet's vital contribution to the U.S. economy." The Internet Tax Non-Discrimination Act extends the original Internet Tax Freedom Act of 1998, written by Wyden and Rep. Cox. The moratorium created by that legislation and then extended in 2001 expired in November 2003. In April, the Senate approved S. 150 extending the protections of the expired moratorium for the next four years as well as updating and refining the original law. The law signed today extends the previous moratorium, making changes to address technological advances, specifically with regard to broadband Internet access. The bill updates the definition of Internet access to ensure technological neutrality, so that the moratorium applies consistently to all types of Internet access, including broadband (DSL, cable modem, satellite or wireless service). Additionally, S. 150 ensures that nothing in the original Internet Tax Freedom Act will affect State and local taxation of voice telecommunications services (including voice-over internet protocol, or VOIP).