Congress still flirting with taxing the InternetPosted by Keith Plunkett on September 20, 2014
Top Senate lawmakers think they have found a way to allow states and local governments to tax Internet purchases: Link online sales taxes to separate legislation prohibiting Internet access taxes and pass it in the post-election “lame duck” session of Congress.
The moratorium on access taxes runs out Dec. 11. A bill by Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., titled the Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act, would extend the moratorium for a decade while allowing states to require online merchants to charge sales taxes.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the number-two ranking Democrat, is a co-sponsor. The backers are hoping that access taxes — which would slap levies on customers for their Comcast or Verizon Internet accounts — will be the more unpopular of the two provisions and that Congress will accept the sales taxes to get rid of them.
“Both … have been debated at length and discussed in numerous committee hearings. Neither are new issues and Senator Enzi believes both should be signed into law this year,” said Enzi spokesman Daniel Head.
Head said the legislation had a strong chance to be voted on in December, which lobbyists on both sides expect as well. A Senate Democratic leadership source said they were “keeping their options open.”
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