Sunday, 21 October, 2001
Internet Tax Moratorium Expires
The moratorium on Internet taxes expires today. A measure extending the moratorium has passed the House, but the Senate shot down a similar bill. So governments (State and Federal, at least) can now start advancing legislation to tax Internet services and sales. There's an online petition drive that you can sign at www.libertypetitions.com. Look for the "Permanent Ban on Internet Taxes" petition. I don't know why, but I just can't get lathered up over this one.
Don't get me wrong--I'm no fan of more or higher taxes, but I haven't yet heard a convincing argument as to why the Internet should be immune from taxes when everything else is taxed to death. If the Internet needs special tax breaks in order to survive, then it probably doesn't deserve to survive in its current form. It'll be interesting to see what happens. My guess? State governments will start taxing Internet services in much the same way that they tax telephone service. Local governments will try to get into the act, and large cities like New York will probably succeed. People will scream loudly on both sides, but in the end nothing much will have changed. Ho hum. SOSBNB.