July 31,2014

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Wyden Urges Support for Ban on Discriminatory Internet Taxes

Finance Chairman Says Short-Term ITFA Extension Needed to Build Bridge to Permanent Legislation

WASHINGTON –Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., spoke on the Senate floor today to urge support for a short-term extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act, and to call for a permanent legislative solution to defend the Internet against multiple and discriminatory taxes. The bipartisan Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA), which Wyden co-wrote in 1998 and extended three times, is currently scheduled to expire November 1, 2014.

“Protecting the Internet and every Internet user in America must take precedence over politics or partisanship,” Wyden said. “I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting a temporary extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act as a bridge to permanent legislation. Failure to act means millions of American Internet users could face multiple and discriminatory taxes from thousands of state and local tax collectors around the country.”

“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,” Wyden said. “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. Let’s say, loud and clear, ‘don’t tax the Internet.’”

In the early days of the Internet, state and local jurisdictions sought to impose multiple and discriminatory taxes on the new medium. This practice threatened to stifle innovation and economic growth of this economic platform. Wyden’s legislation would make ITFA’s protections permanent, giving online innovators and entrepreneurs the stability they need to grow their businesses.

Watch Wyden’s floor statement here. The full text of Wyden’s statement is available here.