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Heartland Institute Experts React to Passage of Internet Tax Freedom Act

February 12, 2016

By a vote of 75–20, the United States Senate Thursday passed the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA), a permanent ban on the ability of states to tax the Internet.


By a vote of 75–20, the United States Senate Thursday passed the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA), a permanent ban on the ability of states to tax the Internet. The ban, which had been extended temporarily several times since first passing in 1998, will prevent states and local governments from imposing taxes on email and access to the Internet.

The following statements from tax and technology experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at and 312/377-4000.

“The passage and approval of the bill containing the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA) is a victory literally decades in the making.

“First passed in 1998 as a temporary law, the Internet access tax moratorium has been renewed for more seasons than cult favorite TV shows like Arrested Development. Fans of lower taxes and online access will finally be able to see if there’s money in the banana stand, without having to fear that lawmakers will levy taxes on the broadband access they use every day.”

Jesse Hathaway
Managing Editor
Budget & Tax News
Research Fellow
The Heartland Institute

“Access to the Internet is critically important to our lives. Every day we rely on the Internet for everything from watching movies to running a business. The passage of PITFA keeps overbearing governments from imposing arbitrary and distortionary taxes on this important lifeblood for the economy.

“This long overdue piece of legislation will encourage further investment in broadband technology and infrastructure resulting in more access and better service for everyone.”

John Nothdurft
Director of Government Relations
The Heartland Institute

“This is welcome legislation that has been a long time coming. The Internet is a vital resource, and there should be no extraneous cost barriers, like taxes, to inhibit consumer uptake. Telecommunications services historically have been a favorite target for raising tax revenue. Thankfully, Congress has now put the Internet out of the taxman’s reach.”

Steven Titch
Policy Advisor
The Heartland Institute
Associate Fellow
R Street Institute

“One Internet tax down, many more to go. Anyone championing more people getting online should be applauding PITFA – and working to eliminate or greatly reduce the myriad other taxes that so dramatically increase adoption costs.”

Seton Motley
President, Less Government
Policy Advisor, Telecom
The Heartland Institute

The Heartland Institute is a 32-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.

Article Tags
InfoTech & Telecom
Jesse Hathaway is a policy advisor for budget and tax issues at The Heartland Institute. @JesseinOH
John Nothdurft joined the staff of The Heartland Institute in May 2008 and left in January of 2019.
Steven Titch is a policy analyst focusing on telecommunications, Internet and information technology. He is also a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute. @stevetitch
Seton Motley is the president of Less Government, a DC-based non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the power of government and protecting the First Amendment from governmental assault. @SetonMotley