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Poll Finds Overwhelming Majority of Americans Want to Strengthen Ban on Internet Tax

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As the U.S. Senate prepares to debate a bill that would make permanent the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA), a new poll conducted online in January by Harris Poll for National Taxpayers Union (NTU) shows that an overwhelming four in five, or 83 percent, of Americans agree that Congress should continue ITFA ban on taxing Internet access. Respondents to the survey were asked the question: “According to the federal Internet Tax Freedom Act, governments across the country are banned from taxing Internet access, but the ban expires later this year. Given this information, how much do you agree or disagree that Congress should continue [i.e., make permanent] the ban on taxing Internet access?”

The age and geographical breakdowns are surprising in their consistently high level of support for the continuation of the Internet tax ban. All four regions of the U.S., representing a broad swath of “blue” and “red” states, register 80 percent or higher levels of agreement with the need to keep Internet access tax free. 87 percent of adults 55+ are in support of the ban, while 79 percent of young adults, ages 18-34, are in favor of the ban.

“The poll numbers line up with what NTU has been hearing from members of all ages across the country: taxing Internet access is unfair, unnecessary, and counterproductive,” said NTU President Pete Sepp. “Piling an additional tax on top of all the other taxes and regulations for which hard-working Americans are already paying is never a good idea. While we are encouraged to see that people across the country are against taxing Internet access, we know that their voices need to be heard by those in the Senate who were elected to represent them. Taxpayers deserve protection from another burdensome tax that would stall innovation and crush creativity.” 

ITFA was first enacted in 1998 as a temporary statute, and has come close to expiring on several occasions. Late last year the House passed a legislative package dealing with trade enforcement that would make ITFA permanent. The Senate has yet to act. 

Methodology

Harris Poll conducted the survey online within the United States on behalf of National Taxpayers Union from January 19-21, 2016 among 2,057 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Jenn Fedor at 703-299-8698 or jenn.fedor@ntu.org.