October 25, 2007

Wyden Says Bipartisan Senate Internet Tax Deal Would Protect E-mail and Other Key Web Services From Being Taxed

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) released the following statement regarding the agreement reached tonight by key Senators involved in the Internet Tax Debate.

"Today, I raised serious concerns about the legislation introduced in the Senate to renew the Internet Tax Freedom Act. I am pleased that steps have been taken to address some of the most immediate concerns and I will not object to further action on the legislation given the short time before the moratorium expires.

"The proposed legislation would have allowed the taxation of many important Internet services that American's have come to rely on, and would have created a discriminatory tax environment between the providers of Internet services. These changes will protect instant messaging and e-mail, including voice and video messaging services as well as personal storage and other video services regardless of who provides them. These services have sparked revolutions in our ability to communicate, bringing distant grandparents closer to their grandchildren and giving our soldiers in the field a more direct link to home.

"We should all be proud that the Senate worked together to ensure that these valuable services were not encumbered by a web of state, county and local taxes. In the nine years since Chris Cox and I originally worked to pass the Internet Tax Freedom Act the Internet has thrived free of multiple and discriminatory taxes, serving as an engine of innovation for our economy. The fact that many competitive free services have arisen is a testament to the sort of pro-consumer innovation that the moratorium has fostered.

"I remain concerned about the vast range of current and future services that are still exposed to the potential for taxation under this legislation. I will continue to work to protect all Internet services from the web of taxation that has resulted in many telecommunications services paying tax rates as high as alcohol and tobacco. As a nation we should be working to encourage innovation in telecommunications services to promote the educational, health, and personal benefits that they can bring, not discouraging them with taxes and regulation."