July 31, 2014
Keith Chu (202) 224-4515
Wyden Floor Statement Urging Support for the Internet Tax Freedom Act
As Prepared for Delivery
Mr. President, the Internet has been the most significant force driving the growth of our economy over the past 16 years. It is the 21st century’s shipping lane and history’s most powerful communication tool. Part of the reason the Internet has revolutionized American life is that it’s protected from discriminatory taxation, thanks to the Internet Tax Freedom Act, first enacted in 16 years ago.
This law is extraordinarily popular among the American people. It is enormously important to the overwhelming majority of American families and businesses who use the Internet.
However, in just a few short months, the Internet Tax Freedom Act is set to expire. If it does, millions of American Internet users could face multiple and discriminatory taxes from thousands of state and local tax collectors around the country.
Mr. President, that cannot be allowed to happen. Congress must come together and say, “Don’t tax the Internet.”
I was the author, along with my Republican colleague Chris Cox, of that first Internet Tax Freedom Act 16 years ago. And I am the author of the current bill, along with Senator Thune and 52 bipartisan cosponsors, that would make that protection permanent. I believe that if we were able to hold a vote on our bill today, it would pass with overwhelming support. Unfortunately, that’s not a political reality, and the clock is ticking down to expiration.
Protecting the Internet and every Internet user in America must take precedence over politics or partisanship. We can move this short term extension today while we work out the issues raised by those who believe that allowing localities to collect taxes across the country is more important than a ban on discriminatory taxation.
So I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting a temporary extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act as a bridge to permanent legislation. Let’s say, loud and clear, “don’t tax the Internet.”