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Bipartisan Group of 29 Organizations Urge Congress to Take Action to Avert Tax Increase

April 10, 2014

Today, the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) Coalition commends the action taken by a bipartisan group of twenty-nine associations, think tanks, and non-profit organizations urging Congress to avert a tax increase on Internet access. In a letter (available here) to the sponsors of bills in both chambers of Congress, the bipartisan group—including Consumer Action, Americans for Tax Reform, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce—called on Congress to permanently extend the Internet Tax Freedom Act to prevent taxes on Internet access and multiple and discriminatory taxation of Internet commerce. Lawmakers have until November 1, 2014 to do so, or else consumers can expect increased costs in accessing and using the Internet.

“It is not often that an issue receives bipartisan support in Washington, D.C., but the Internet tax moratorium is a rare area where both liberals and conservatives have found common ground,” said Tom Schatz, President of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, a signatory of the letter.

“As the tax deadline of April 15th approaches, more and more citizens are using the IRS E-File system to submit their returns,” noted Annabelle Canning, Executive Director of the ITFA Coalition. “They should not be taxed for utilizing the preferred government method of filing their taxes online. Permanently extending the ITFA would allow Americans to reap the benefits provided by broadband Internet access through increased access to government services, job training, education, and employment opportunities without excess taxation.”

Ron Busby Sr., President of U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., echoed that sentiment, adding, “Ensuring that our business members continue to have affordable and reliable Internet access will allow them to remain competitive in today’s global economy. We support the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (H.R. 3086) because we understand that our country is strongest when citizens of all economic levels have fair access to the Internet.”

Signatories to the letter include: the 60 Plus Association, Center for Individual Freedom, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Hispanic Leadership Fund, Madery Bridge Associates, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., the American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research, Consumer Action, the Latino Coalition, National Association of Neighborhoods, National Taxpayers Union, Women Impacting Public Policy, Americans for Tax Reform, Health IT Now, League of United Latin American Citizens, National Black Chamber of Commerce, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, American Commitment, Citizens Against Government Waste, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, National Hispanic Council on Aging, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Job Security, Digital Liberty, Less Government, National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, Inc., and NetCompetition.

Originally passed in 1998 and extended three times since with broad bipartisan support, two bills have been introduced in this Congress to make ITFA permanent – the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (H.R.3086) in the House of Representatives and the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act (S. 1431) in the Senate. Both bills enjoy broad bipartisan co-sponsorship with 178 and 36 co-sponsors, respectively.

The ITFA Coalition’s mission is to maintain and grow consumer access to the Internet and Internet commerce by ensuring that consumer purchases of Internet access remain free from taxation and goods and services sold over the Internet are not subject to multiple and discriminatory taxation.