House Moves to Prevent Taxes on Internet Access

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Earlier today, the House of Representatives voted to extend a moratorium that prevents state and local governments from taxing access to the Internet into a permanent ban. The current moratorium was set to expire on November 1. In the event it expired, Internet users would face connection fees from ISPs, similar to those on a phone bill. 

Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said, "This legislation prevents a surprise tax hike on Americans' critical services this fall. It also maintains unfettered access to one of the most unique gateways to knowledge and engine of self-improvement in all of human history."

The moratorium was first set up way back in 1998. However, the original allowed state and local governments with existing Internet taxes to keep them. Under the revised bill passed today, they would no longer be able to keep these taxes. 

Seven states — Hawaii, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin — will lose out on "several hundred million dollars annually" without these taxes, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The bill is now headed to Senate. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.