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Congress and the House decided once more to not tax the Internet!

The U.S. Congress and Senate once again agreed to a bipartisan resolution that extends the Internet tax moratorium.

The highly debated issue saw strong support for keeping the Internet tax free from both those in the industry and from grass roots movements.  ISPs strongly opposed any sort of taxation as it would hurt their revenues by driving away customers.  Users, who joined movements such as the "Don't Tax Our Web Coalition," did not want to be taxed either, as taxation would likely mean higher service charges.

A tax moratorium was originally instituted in 1998 Internet Tax Freedom Act.  It was extended twice already, in 2001 and 2004, but has not been permanently passed into law.

The house and senate disagreed on the exact length to ban taxation.  The House passed a resolution calling for a four year ban.  The Senate wanted a seven year ban.  Both legislative bodies saw strong bipartisan support for some kind of ban, though.

Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) was enthusiastic about the tax moratorium.  He elaborated:

"The Internet has provided a powerful economic boost to our nation,and has become an important everyday tool for millions of Americans.  By keeping Internet access tax-free and affordable,Congress can encourage Internet use for distance learning,telemedicine, commerce and other important services."

Sadly, the internet is not entirely tax free.  The IRS is pushing a proposal as part of this year's budget proposal to track user income made on sites such as eBay.  They plan to use this information to adjust people's income accordingly.

The proposal for extension of the 1998 Internet Tax Freedom Act will now go to a panel composed of House and Senate members which will iron out the differences between the House and Senate's passed proposals and submit a single proposal to the President.

Should the Internet be tax free?  The answer according to the public seems to be overwhelming yes. However, your income from private Internet sales soon will be taxable.

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Sorry Sen. Stevens, but ...
By SunAngel on 10/26/2007 2:36:06 PM , Rating: -1
By keeping Internet access tax-free and affordable

Sorry Sen. Stevens, but I don't call Comcast's $45 plan nor their $30 plans affordable; however, I do call AT&T's $15 plan highly affordable. Thank you very much. And I'm sure it's not riddled with Ebay transactions, Mortgage offers and Porn.

Do something about the outrageous internet fees and I will be okay with an internet tax.

RE: Sorry Sen. Stevens, but ...
By FITCamaro on 10/26/2007 2:39:58 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe you don't, but many people do.

Also, when you factor in the cost of the phone line required (in most places) to get DSL, that crappy $15 connection turns into a $30-35 crappy connection. I don't have a home phone, nor do I want one.

And the only way internet fees are going down is if the government takes it over. But people would complain too much about that. Me personally, I'd love it that federal money could be used to make the internet faster. I'd much rather tax money be going to improving the internet than going to some lazy piece of crap sitting at home on welfare.

RE: Sorry Sen. Stevens, but ...
By Micronite on 10/26/2007 2:59:06 PM , Rating: 2
I like your first couple of statements, but I must respectuflly disagree with your last.
I don't see how getting taxes raised $30 and getting free internet is helping me much. I already pay $30 and I have a choice of where to get my internet. And guess what? Bandwith has gone up and prices have gone down.

I don't see how the federal government taking over anything is a good solution.
Example: airport security...
At Chicago O'Hare International Airport, screeners missed about 60% of hidden bomb materials that were packed in everyday carry-ons — including toiletry kits, briefcases and CD players. San Francisco International Airport screeners, who work for a private company instead of the TSA, missed about 20% of the bombs, the report shows. The TSA ran about 70 tests at Los Angeles, 75 at Chicago and 145 at San Francisco.

Note that at LAX, they missed 75% of fake bombs.

Government may (disputably) make things cheaper to begin with, but it rarely makes things better.
Unbelieveably, I think Congress is taking the right approach to this.

RE: Sorry Sen. Stevens, but ...
By BansheeX on 10/26/2007 6:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
Somewhere out there, Ron Paul is smiling.

RE: Sorry Sen. Stevens, but ...
By Ringold on 10/26/2007 9:10:41 PM , Rating: 2
And somewhere beyond the ether, Adam Smith is saying "Some noobs still haven't figured this out?"

Great nations are never impoverished by private, though sometimes are by public prodigality and misconduct. The whole, or almost the whole public revenue, is in most countries employed in maintaining unproductive hands.

- Adam Smith, Right Wing Extremist since 1776

RE: Sorry Sen. Stevens, but ...
By johnbuk on 10/26/2007 3:00:45 PM , Rating: 2
Where do you live where you can get a land line for that cheap? Go tired of paying in excess of $60 a month just for a land line (about $10 of which was just in state and federal taxes) a couple of years ago. Perhaps there are more options now for land lines, but at the time where I live you only had one choice if you wanted a land line.

And I still only have one choice for High Speed internet- no DSL where I live- cable costing me $100/mth (which includes extended basic TV and internet). More than I'd like to pay, but what can you do if you're only choices are that or paying a land line and using dial up.

RE: Sorry Sen. Stevens, but ...
By FITCamaro on 10/26/2007 3:08:09 PM , Rating: 2
Florida and South Carolina.

RE: Sorry Sen. Stevens, but ...
By kinnoch on 10/26/2007 3:28:09 PM , Rating: 2
I'm in California, and you can get a land line for cheaper than that. I have DSL and only pay $6-$8 for the land line. Its just active to support the dsl connection, 2 way calling isn't even enabled.

RE: Sorry Sen. Stevens, but ...
By Zoomer on 10/26/2007 7:18:04 PM , Rating: 2
I'm paying 29.95 monthly to TW for 10M/384k. Upstate new york. Granted, it's only valid for one year, but in a year, they can either let me continue paying this rate or less, or I can jump to earthlink.

RE: Sorry Sen. Stevens, but ...
By BladeVenom on 10/26/2007 3:12:11 PM , Rating: 3
If you want the government to take over the internet, you could move to China. If you thought the Patriot act and the DMCA were bad... Enjoy blocked sites, surveillance, and wiretaps. Congress is already in bed with the RIAA and the MPAA. Might as well say goodbye to any form of filesharing, ftp, IRC, and newsgroups. It'll all be for the children of course.

On top of that you'll pay for times as much in taxes just to get worse service than you get now.

RE: Sorry Sen. Stevens, but ...
By BladeVenom on 10/26/2007 3:13:15 PM , Rating: 2
four times as much...

By djkrypplephite on 10/26/2007 3:30:37 PM , Rating: 2
True, I would also rather have it developing something than supporting lazy bastards, however if we let the internet fall into the government's hands, it would be a disaster, just like everything else governments try to take over.

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home
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