Dear Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Reid,
The undersigned organizations, which represent millions of American consumers, strongly support the permanent extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) in H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act.
Our organizations have a variety of missions and represent Americans from all walks of life and on all sides of the political spectrum, and it’s very rare that we agree on policy or work together in a unified manner. But this issue is different. We support ITFA because it’s a permanent ban on taxing access to the Internet is critical to all Americans and the future of our overall economy.
In the 17 years since Congress first passed a ban on Internet access taxes, the Internet has evolved from a luxury into a necessity of modern life. ITFA helped to spark this revolution. From healthcare to education, small business entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, the Internet has dramatically transformed the way we live, work, and learn.
In particular, ITFA plays a critical role in helping to keep the cost of Internet access affordable. It has protected most consumers from paying state and local taxes on their Internet access services. Without ITFA, it is likely these services would be taxed at the high rates of tax imposed on traditional telecommunication services, which often are more than double the rate of tax imposed on other goods and services.
After decades of progress in connecting more Americans to the Internet, the lack of a permanent ban on Internet access taxes could reverse this progress. Numerous studies continue to show that cost remains an obstacle to Internet access and, if taxes on the Internet go up, even fewer people will be able to afford to go online. This would impede our nation’s long held goal of universal Internet access.
We urge you to act swiftly and decisively to pass a permanent extension of ITFA which is a good pro-consumer tax policy with overwhelming bipartisan support and a policy that will directly benefit your constituents and further propel our economy into the digital age.