Bipartisan Group of Senators to Harry Reid: Don't Tax the Internet!

A bipartisan group of Senators, including Rand Paul (R-KY), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), John Tester (D-MT),Kelly Ayotte (R-NH),  and Jeff Merkley (D-OR),  have sent a letter to US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell urging them to oppose attempts to attach the National Internet Sales Tax to the Internet Access Tax Moratorium bill.

Text of the letter can be found here and below. Remember to call your Senators and tell them to oppose adding the Internet Sales Tax to the Internet Access Tax Moratorium.


July 16, 2014

The Honorable Harry Reid
Majority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Republican Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Majority Leader Reid and Republican Leader McConnell:

For years, the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) has kept the Internet free of new taxes and has helped the Internet flourish into the driver of economic growth and job creation that it is today. The ban on new Internet taxes has benefitted millions of Americans, including consumers, entrepreneurs and innovators. As you know, unless Congress acts, ITFA is set to expire in November, putting at risk the vibrant landscape of the Internet that has become essential to our economy and everyday lives. We write today to urge you to extend ITFA as soon as possible, and to keep this legislation free of extraneous efforts to impose new taxes on Internet sales.

ITFA's ban on Internet access taxes and on multiple and discriminatory taxes is a common-sense policy with broad, bipartisan backing. ITFA was originally enacted in 1998 to respond to efforts by state and local jurisdictions to impose new and multiple taxes on the Internet. Since then, the Internet has revolutionized the economy and become a key part of commercial and educational opportunities for millions of Americans. That's why ITFA has been extended three times with broad support. To keep the Internet free of taxation, Congress must act again - and soon.

Unfortunately, advocates of another, unrelated bill that would actually increase taxation over the Internet have been pushing to include the measure as part of ITFA's extension. The so-called "Marketplace Fairness Act" would allow Internet sales taxes to be levied across state lines, thereby creating a new avenue for taxing sales over the Internet. This legislation would hurt small online retailers that have been able to grow and create jobs by reaching new markets across the country. Instead of protecting and fostering e-commerce, which ITFA has been doing for years, this Internet sales tax legislation would stifle small business growth and job creation - running counter to ITFA's goals and track record.

We strongly urge you to bring ITFA to the floor as soon as possible without this unnecessary measure. Any attempt to incorporate Internet sales tax legislation to an extension of ITFA will hinder its passage, putting the current tax-free Internet environment in jeopardy. Already, businesses are starting to plan for the months ahead, and failure to pass ITFA in a timely fashion raises the specter of tax increases that consumers and businesses can't afford. Therefore, we believe that the Senate should take up and pass an extension of ITFA - which has enjoyed the long-standing leadership of Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden - to move legislation to extend ITFA as soon as possible without measures to allow Internet sales taxes to stifle e-commerce.

Thank you for your consideration.

Jeanne Shaheen Ted Cruz
United States Senator United States Senator
Kelly Ayotte Jon Tester
United States Senator United States Senator
Jeff Merkley Rand Paul
United States Senator United States Senator





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