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house Bill H.R. 235

Is it Time to Ban State Taxes on Internet Access (Except the Ones That Already Exist)? Vote!

Argument in favor

Internet access is a vital part of modern life and should be tax-free. Banning taxes on e-commerce will benefit consumers, businesses, and the economy as a whole.

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09/16/2015
"Our free and open Internet has made invaluable contributions to democracy both here in the United States and around the world. Whether you are rich, poor, young or old, the Internet allows all people to seek out information and communicate globally." [sanders.senate.gov]
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BarackObama's Opinion
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02/25/2015
"The internet is a service. There shouldn't be any fees included with this service that may restrict the ability of some to not use the internet fully."
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DonaldTrump's Opinion
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09/16/2015
"Before we do anything, simplify it. Make it nice and easy for people to understand, and reduce taxes.” [allenbwest.com]
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Argument opposed

State and local governments should be able to impose taxes on internet access or e-commerce if they want to — it can be a very lucrative form of tax revenue.

ElizabethWarren's Opinion
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09/16/2015
"Voted YES on authorizing states to collect Internet sales taxes." [ontheissues.org]
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PacificCstar's Opinion
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08/19/2015
States that try and tax e-commerce just drive those businesses to less regulated states.
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Eric's Opinion
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04/16/2015
Should not be tax free but who should get the tax, the purchaser out the supplier? Figure it out before a law is discussed and passed.
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What is House Bill H.R. 235?

This bill would permanently extend the ban on state and local internet access taxes, and the ban on “multiple or discriminatory taxes” on electronic commerce. Under current law, the ban on state and local internet taxes would expire on October 1, 2015.

If you're buying something on the Internet, an example of “multiple taxes” on electronic commerce would be if the state where you live imposes a sales tax on the transaction and the state where the seller is located also imposes a tax on the transaction because it was made on the internet.

Discriminatory taxes, on the other hand, are taxes that treat electronic commerce differently than mail-order purchases, or going into a real brick-and-mortar store. The discrimination counts if the tax is only imposed on e-commerce, is applied at a different rate, or the tax has different collection requirements.

State and local governments that already have taxes on internet access and e-commerce would be able to keep them in place, as this legislation would only apply to taxes imposed after this bill’s enactment — meaning that existing taxes would remain unchanged. 

Impact

People who surf the internet, companies and vendors selling things on the internet between states, states with internet taxes, the Internal Revenue Service, and Congress.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 235

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: When this bill was introduced with bipartisan support the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and this bill's sponsor, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) noted: 

“Business owners or jobseekers, grandparents or students, all Americans benefit from tax-free access to the Internet.” 

Currently, this bill has 188 cosponsors in the House — made up of 130 Republican and 58 Democratic lawmakers.

A study done by the Congressional Research Service notes that while 13 states used to have local internet taxes, six have since eliminated those taxes, leaving only Hawaii, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin.

In a paper published by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities opposing the permanent extension of the ban on internet taxes, it was projected that tax revenues from these taxes in Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin could total more than $500 million.

On the other side of the argument, proponents of banning internet taxes point to economic studies that indicate higher taxes discourage economic growth.

Media:


Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: demonpigeon.wordpress.com) (Raw Image)

AKA

Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act

Official Title

To permanently extend the Internet Tax Freedom Act.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Finance
  • The house Passed June 9th, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law
    IntroducedJanuary 9th, 2015

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    "Our free and open Internet has made invaluable contributions to democracy both here in the United States and around the world. Whether you are rich, poor, young or old, the Internet allows all people to seek out information and communicate globally." [sanders.senate.gov]
    Like (111)
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    "Voted YES on authorizing states to collect Internet sales taxes." [ontheissues.org]
    Like (8)
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    "The internet is a service. There shouldn't be any fees included with this service that may restrict the ability of some to not use the internet fully."
    Like (86)
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    "Before we do anything, simplify it. Make it nice and easy for people to understand, and reduce taxes.” [allenbwest.com]
    Like (54)
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    Government needs to STAY OUT OF THE INTERNET!!!
    Like (17)
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    Stop trying to tax everything you greedy pieces of shit!!
    Like (8)
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    Does there exist ANYTHING in our lives that some dumbass politician and/or bureaucrat not want to tax? NO NEW TAXES! NO TAX INCREASES!
    Like (7)
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    Simple: the Internet is a conduit for information. That's all. Freedom of information. Bill of rights.
    Like (7)
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    Taxing the internet is just another money grabbing scheme from the government. Students now rely on the services that the internet offers and they would be hard pressed to be taxed on their school research. It would also impact lower income individuals that can't afford it.
    Like (6)
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    The internet is the democratizing force in information, communication, business, and many other aspects. As long as someone has access, they can build a website or sell a product. Taxing the internet would seriously hamper the growth of small businesses and skew e-commerce sales towards large companies & corporations.
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    We already pay for Internet access for home PC, and for smart phones. If there was a charge or fee in addition to that, just enlarges government, and decreases our freedom.
    Like (4)
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    All retailers should be subject to sales tax
    Like (3)
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    Little or no taxes for Internet transactions has proven to be a helpful stimulant to the economy, and it brings convenient and affordable products to the consumer's home.
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    The internet should not be taxed, as it is used in everyday life, and in this day and age, is very necessary to stay in your place in society.
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    Read my text: no new taxes.
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    "For the taxes already in place, any resulting additional revenue would be used to provide individual income tax relief for taxpayers." Read more at http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/207713911.html
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    States that try and tax e-commerce just drive those businesses to less regulated states.
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    Should not be tax free but who should get the tax, the purchaser out the supplier? Figure it out before a law is discussed and passed.
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    We have long since passed the time that the Internet should be a tool provided by service providers, tax free to every American.
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