Internet Access Tax Ban Up For Renewal Again, But The Push To Make It Permanent Remains
from the doing-some-good-for-a-change dept
We’ve noted in the past how every once in a while, some good internet laws turn up, even though they’re still far outweighed by the bad ones. One of the good laws has been the moratorium on taxes on internet service, which keep states from increasing the total cost of internet access for consumers. The only hiccup, though, is that this ban has never been made permanent, mostly thanks to the objections of the states. The current moratorium expires November 1, and discussions to extend it or make it permanent are ongoing. While there’s bipartisan support for keeping internet access bills free from the morass of taxes and regulatory recovery fees that plague telephone and cable TV bills, a lobbying group representing the states say they current ban should only be extended temporarily, so that legislators can “return to this issue and make sure we’ve gotten it right.” It’s not entirely clear why they can’t “get it right” now, particularly as two bills that would make the ban permanent have already been introduced in the House. What’s heartening about the discussion, though, is that it seems to focus on legislators’ desire to make the ban more broad, potentially covering backbone services and even basic cable. For the time being, the worst-case scenario appears to be that the taxes are banned for four more years, but it looks like there’s too much momentum behind the ban eventually becoming permanent to stop it at this point.