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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 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.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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