Heartland Institute Experts React to Committee Passage of the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act

June 18, 2014

By a vote of 30–4, the House Judiciary Committee approved the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, which would extend indefinitely a moratorium on any taxes imposed upon accessing a broadband network. This bill, if passed and signed into law by President Barack Obama, would force seven states to cease imposing taxes on Internet access.

The following statements from technology and tax 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.

“The Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act is common-sense Internet policy that is a long time coming. Internet access taxes are particularly damaging to the growth of the Internet economy by placing an unnecessary burden on consumers. Often these taxes are proposed in order to encourage broadband deployment, something the market is already handling quite effectively.

“A permanent Internet access tax moratorium would help broadband access and development expand while reducing the need for government broadband spending. Allowing Internet access taxes to increase could quickly make Internet bills resemble cell phone bills, which are taxed higher than almost all other goods and services. Wireless tax rates have reached all-time highs, the Tax Foundation found that almost half the states nationwide now imposing a wireless tax above 10 percent.”

Matthew Glans
Senior Policy Analyst
The Heartland Institute

“This is a critical issue of interstate commerce which Congress needs to address immediately by renewing the Internet tax ban. State and local taxes on the Internet would put a burden on non-local and out-of-state providers who don’t have the right to vote on those taxes. The nation’s founders had a term for that: taxation without representation.”

S.T. Karnick
Director of Research
The Heartland Institute

“People need to understand this bill would prohibit taxes on access to the Internet, not taxes on online purchases. The bill deserves strong support because businesses and individuals of all income levels rely on the Internet for so many important activities. Taxing Internet access would make the Internet less affordable, which would make no sense to do.”

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

The Heartland Institute is a 30-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, 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.