February 10,2015

Press Contact:

Keith Chu (Wyden): 202-224-3789
AshLee Strong (Thune): 202-228-5940

Wyden, Thune Reintroduce Bill to Permanently Block Taxes on Internet Access

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, and John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and member of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, today reintroduced the bipartisan Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a companion measure by voice vote last Congress. 

“I co-wrote the Internet Tax Freedom Act to protect the openness and viability of the Internet as a platform for commerce, speech, and the exchange of ideas,” said Wyden. “Without ITFA, access to information would no longer be tax-free. Access to online communication would no longer be tax-free. Access to the global marketplace so crucial to America’s economic future would no longer be tax-free. The cost to consumers could easily be hundreds of dollars a year per household. Now is the time to make this law permanent.”

“For successful 21st century innovators and entrepreneurs, the Internet is their lifeblood,” said Thune. “We should be celebrating their success, not taxing the tools they use to achieve it. Our bill, which would permanently ban Internet taxation, would encourage more American innovators and entrepreneurs to use broadband to develop the next big thing, while keeping the Internet open and accessible to consumers across the country. Senator Wyden and I look forward to working with Leader McConnell to bring this bill to the Senate floor.”         

The original ITFA, which Wyden co-authored in 1998, put in place a moratorium preventing state and local jurisdictions from imposing new taxes on the Internet and multiple and discriminatory taxes on e-commerce. While Congress has reauthorized the law five times since its enactment, the Thune-Wyden bill would make the moratorium permanent.

Thune and Wyden’s Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act is also supported by 38 other senators: Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), and David Vitter (R-La.).