Over the next week, both the Missouri House and Senate will consider identical bills -- SB 823 and HB 1966, respectively -- to exempt Internet access from state and local sales taxes in the Show Me State. National Taxpayers Union (NTU) submitted identical testimony in support of each bill. Below is NTU's testimony in support of SB 823:
Chairman Kraus and Members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee,
My name is Clark Packard, and I am Policy and Government Affairs Manager for National Taxpayers Union (NTU). Founded in 1969, NTU is the oldest, non-partisan taxpayer advocacy group in the country. On behalf of NTU’s Missouri members, I am submitting written testimony to urge you to support Senate Bill 823. If enacted, Senate Bill 823 would be an enormous win for taxpayers.
Recognizing its power to better the lives of Americans, Congress has continued to pass temporary bans on state and local jurisdictions taxing access to the Internet since 1998. This has been a bipartisan success for taxpayers. NTU is hopeful that Congress will pass a permanent ban this year.
Likewise, Senate Bill 823 would provide a state and local tax exemption for the sale and use of Internet access. Should Congress fail to pass a permanent tax exemption on Internet access or should the temporary bans ever lapse, Senate Bill 823 would ensure Missouri does its part to keep access to the Internet tax free.
The Internet has been an engine for economic growth and innovation. It is a wonderful testament to the power of free markets to better the human condition all over the globe. It has succeeded in part because it operates in a relatively light tax and regulatory environment. This success will continue as long as the Internet remains untaxed. Missouri can do its part to ensure the Internet remains a bastion of freedom by passing Senate Bill 823.