As the Internet increasingly becomes a place for people to shop and do business, the federal government wants a piece of the action. Several proposals are making the rounds of Congress that would undo a moratorium that blocks states from imposing their own taxes on Internet access, reports Wired News At issue is a 1998 federal law prohibiting states and municipalities from taxing Internet access the way they do telephone service. Four bills, two in the House and two in the Senate, would extend the moratorium or make the law permanent. But if Congress fails to take action, broadband companies fear a raft of new taxes will cost them customers. “New taxes on internet access could have a chilling effect on broadband investment … and impose significant new costs (on consumers),” Annabelle Canning, Verizon’s vice president of state tax policy, told Congress last month. Increasing Internet bills by 10 or 20 percent from new local taxes could have a huge impact on broadband, according to Jerry Ellig, a research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center and a former Federal Trade Commission economist. One of the most important things that economists know about broadband access is that it’s pretty price… Read full this story
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