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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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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

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs
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