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45 Organizations Sign on in Bipartisan Show of Support for Permanent Ban on Internet Access Tax

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The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable Harry Reid
Minority Leader
522 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Reid, 

The undersigned organizations, which represent millions of American consumers, strongly support the permanent extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) in H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act. Our organizations have a variety of missions and represent Americans from all walks of life and on all sides of the political spectrum, and it’s very rare that we agree on policy or work together in a unified manner. But this issue is different.  We support ITFA because it’s a permanent ban on taxing access to the Internet and is critical to all Americans and the future of our overall economy.    

In the 17 years since Congress first passed a ban on Internet access taxes, the Internet has evolved from a luxury into a necessity of modern life. ITFA helped to spark this revolution. From healthcare to education, small business entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, the Internet has dramatically transformed the way we live, work, and learn.   

In particular, ITFA plays a critical role in helping to keep the cost of Internet access affordable. It has protected most consumers from paying state and local taxes on their Internet access services. Without ITFA, it is likely these services would be taxed at the high rates of tax imposed on traditional telecommunication services, which often are more than double the rate of tax imposed on other goods and services. 

After decades of progress in connecting more Americans to the Internet, the lack of a permanent ban on Internet access taxes could reverse this progress. Numerous studies continue to show that cost remains an obstacle to Internet access and, if taxes on the Internet go up, even fewer people will be able to afford to go online. This would impede our nation’s long held goal of universal Internet access.

We urge you to act swiftly and decisively to pass a permanent extension of ITFA which is a good pro-consumer tax policy with overwhelming bipartisan support and a policy that will directly benefit your constituents.

Sincerely,

Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council

American Commitment

American Consumer Institute

Americans for Tax Reform

Center for Individual Freedom

Competitive Enterprise Institute

Computing Technology Industry Association

Consumer Action

Digital Liberty

Hispanic Heritage Foundation

Hispanic Leadership Fund

Hispanic Technology & Telecommunications Council

Independent Women’s Forum

Independent Women’s Voice

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Latino Coalition

LULAC

Madery Bridge Associates

Media Freedom

National Association of Black County Officials

National Association of Manufacturers

National Association of Neighborhoods

National Black Caucus of State Legislators

National Black Chamber of Commerce

National Caucus of the Black Aged

National Coalition for Black Civic Participation

National Foundation for Women Legislators

National Hispanic Council on Aging

National Organization of Black County Officials

National Puerto Rican Coalition

National Taxpayers Union

NOBEL Women

R Street Institute

SER—Jobs for Progress

Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council

Taxpayers Protection Alliance

TechFreedom

Technology Councils of North America

United Spinal Association

US Black Chamber

US Chamber of Commerce

US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

US Hispanic Leadership Institute

Women Impacting Public Policy