Like Causes?

Install the App
TRY NOW

senate Bill S. 431

Should New Taxes on Internet Access and E-Commerce be Banned?

Argument in favor

Imposing a tax on internet access would impede the ability of individuals to use a tool that has become a vital part of modern life. Keeping the internet tax-free benefits consumers, businesses, and the economy as a whole.

Marshall's Opinion
···
02/12/2016
The Internet is one of the few bastions of true freedom alive in our world today. Keeping Internet access free for all individuals is important to keeping the Internet a universal resource.
Like (16)
Follow
Share
BTSundra's Opinion
···
02/11/2016
As a public utility, they should not be taxed, and shipping makes up for the tax cost. Besides, aren't we taxed enough?
Like (14)
Follow
Share
operaman's Opinion
···
02/11/2016
With our economy already in the toilet, why flush the toilet.
Like (10)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

Governments at the state and local level need to raise revenue somehow, and levying taxes on internet access or e-commerce would provide them with significant streams of tax revenue to fund their budget priorities.

veronicab's Opinion
···
02/13/2016
While I strongly disagree with taxing internet access, I am worried about th e stringency of this bill, which seeks to ban the ability of the government to tax e-commerce FOREVER. It is important to note that some of the highest profiting businesses and drivers of income inequality are big tech companies. While I believe e-commerce has many benefits and makes a great deal of small transactions more efficient and more awesome (try taking my Amazon prime account away from me, I dare you), it should not be forgotten that these giants squeeze out mom and pop shops all over the country and use far fewer employees than ever before. Amazon just surpassed WalMart as the biggest retailer by market value, worth a whopping $247 billion. While WalMart has 2.2 million employees world-wide, Amazon has only 230,000!!!! It may become necessary in the future to tax certain online retailers to ensure that our economy continues to work for all Americans, and not just vastly wealthy tech giants with very few employees.
Like (8)
Follow
Share
Jake's Opinion
···
02/15/2016
Upwards of 30% of commerce now is exchanged on the Internet, and that figure is growing. A large source of sales tax income is disappearing for states and they need a way to maintain our vital public services.
Like (5)
Follow
Share
MiguelCalderon's Opinion
···
02/12/2016
The only difference between online shopping and physical shopping is someone out there is just sending you the package you didn't have the time or need to go physically to the store. Online stores should be taxed, think of the revenue it will create for our government to invest in out neighborhoods, schools etc. put it this way, when you call and order a pizza by phone you're doing exactly the same thing as buying it online. So if you're taxed when you make the phone call why should it be different for he web?
Like (4)
Follow
Share

What is Senate Bill S. 431?

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.

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 Senate Bill S. 431

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Sen. John Thune (R-SD) introduced this legislation to ensure that individuals and businesses can continue to have tax-free access to the internet:

"For successful 21st century innovators and entrepreneurs, the Internet is their lifeblood. We should be celebrating their success, not taxing the tools they use to achieve it. Our bill, which would permanently ban Internet taxation, would encourage more American innovators and entrepreneurs to use broadband to develop the next big thing, while keeping the Internet open and accessible to consumers across the country."

Currently this bill has 50 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate, including 11 Democrats and 39 Republicans. The House passed a nearly identical companion bill by voice vote in June 2015.

Of Note: 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: Flickr user Daniel Rehn)

AKA

Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act

Official Title

A bill to permanently extend the Internet Tax Freedom Act.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Finance
    IntroducedFebruary 10th, 2015
    Taxed Enough Already!
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    While I strongly disagree with taxing internet access, I am worried about th e stringency of this bill, which seeks to ban the ability of the government to tax e-commerce FOREVER. It is important to note that some of the highest profiting businesses and drivers of income inequality are big tech companies. While I believe e-commerce has many benefits and makes a great deal of small transactions more efficient and more awesome (try taking my Amazon prime account away from me, I dare you), it should not be forgotten that these giants squeeze out mom and pop shops all over the country and use far fewer employees than ever before. Amazon just surpassed WalMart as the biggest retailer by market value, worth a whopping $247 billion. While WalMart has 2.2 million employees world-wide, Amazon has only 230,000!!!! It may become necessary in the future to tax certain online retailers to ensure that our economy continues to work for all Americans, and not just vastly wealthy tech giants with very few employees.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    The Internet is one of the few bastions of true freedom alive in our world today. Keeping Internet access free for all individuals is important to keeping the Internet a universal resource.
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    As a public utility, they should not be taxed, and shipping makes up for the tax cost. Besides, aren't we taxed enough?
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    With our economy already in the toilet, why flush the toilet.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    The internet should receive the benefit of it being tax free. There are so many different ways to properly add new taxes (LIKE LEGALIZING MARIJUANA.) Small businesses can easily create an online website to compete with the other big corporations that are online.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Why pay taxes for something that is reshaping into a propaganda tool to control ones thinking. Everyday channels of conservatives fall victim to censorship. Thank you so much BHO for giving the internet to the globalist UN beast! You truly have always had Americans best interest at heart!
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Enough taxes, fees, service charges already. Opportunities are stagnant due to the last 24 years of globalist regulations and tax after tax after tax. Time to start removing taxes, fees and regulations!
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Read my lips: No. New. Taxes.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Upwards of 30% of commerce now is exchanged on the Internet, and that figure is growing. A large source of sales tax income is disappearing for states and they need a way to maintain our vital public services.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    The only difference between online shopping and physical shopping is someone out there is just sending you the package you didn't have the time or need to go physically to the store. Online stores should be taxed, think of the revenue it will create for our government to invest in out neighborhoods, schools etc. put it this way, when you call and order a pizza by phone you're doing exactly the same thing as buying it online. So if you're taxed when you make the phone call why should it be different for he web?
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    The internet should be free. What's next, tax on email? No. There should be other ways for the government to raise money. I'd rather see the government actually balance a budget as I have to along with businesses.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    I for one am sick and tired of everything under the sun is being taxed or increased taxes, we are long past due for responsible frugality and use of public funds. We need reductions in taxes, less waste, end corruption, and leftist pirates stealing the ground from under us. We need audits in every dept of government and reductions of staff and privileges like travel allowances etc. government spending and waste is destroying this nation. Always on holidays, always in recess, always attending dinners, basically always screwing off on our dime!!
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    Please keep the Internet free and open to all.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    The Internet is not a place. It is free and open and that is what bolsters its current entrepreneurial spirit. We can not choke it and close it off with taxes while it is still in its infancy.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    Taxing individuals for Internet access will only increase the already high class separation. If the lower classes are unable to use internet because of expenses then that is a major inhibitor when it comes to a variety opportunities. Someone shouldn't be able to have Internet as an advantage just because they have money. The Internet is the manifestation of freedom of speech and to tax Internet access would greatly limit the freedoms available in this country.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    We are already taxed on virtually everything. I'm sure Microsoft and other businesses alike are plenty capable of paying for it.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Taxing the internet is nonsensical both logically and ethically. The internet is not part of public service, and exists on its own outside of the government. Using it does not take money away from american infrastructure but adds to it, thanks to local ads, fiber optics companies, and other providers that make access to the internet possible. Taxing the internet makes providing it that much more difficult and exclusive, making access to the most comprehensive knowledge database in the world into a sort of luxury. Free wifi in cafes and other areas would suddenly become incredibly more difficult to maintain, and the end result just wouldn't be worth the hassle.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    The information high way should be free also not to mention the Internet is a great learning tool for education purposes , kids as well as adults benefits from this .
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Wifi is necessary for everyone to have. Its already too expensive if anything it should be heading towards the direction of being free. No taxes please
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE