Heartland Institute Experts Comment on Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act

August 05, 2013

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and John Thune (R-SD) last week introduced the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act, a bill that would ban taxes on Internet access and sales taxes on the purchase of goods over the Internet.

The Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) is scheduled to expire on November 1, 2014. It has been in place since 1998.

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 jlakely@heartland.org and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

“Politicians who continually talk about how they want to expand broadband access should support this bill with great enthusiasm. That includes the current president, who has continually spoken out about the need for more broadband. As is well-known, if you tax something, you get less of it, and ITFA is one reason we have a vast and vibrant Internet. Slapping new taxes on the Internet is the worst thing we could do to the nation’s communications system and would deal a severe blow to the economy as a whole.”

S.T. Karnick
Director of Research
The Heartland Institute

“Taxes harm whatever is taxed. If ever there is a tax on Internet access, we’d soon see fewer people accessing the Internet. Forever is a long time. That’s why we are told to never say never. But the intent of the bill is good and deserves support.”

Steve Stanek
Research Fellow, Budget and Tax Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor
Budget & Tax News

“Internet access taxes would hit broadband users everywhere. While supporters of increased access taxes have argued that the taxes are needed to fund programs to help expand broadband to underserved areas, broadband coverage is already widely available and these programs may be unnecessary. Internet access taxes place an unnecessary burden on consumers in order to do something the market is already handling quite effectively. Making the Internet access tax moratorium permanent would help broadband access and development expand while reducing the need for government broadband spending.”

Matthew Glans
Senior Policy Analyst
The Heartland Institute