Wyden urges permanent Internet tax ban

Says 'Tax Freedom Act' has spurred digital economy

WASHINGTON - Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., congratulated the U.S. House Tuesday on passing a permanent extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act, and pledged to defend the Internet against multiple and discriminatory taxes.

The bipartisan Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA), which Wyden co-wrote in 1998 and extended three times, is currently scheduled to expire Nov. 1.

"The Internet Tax Freedom Act enabled the growth of a flourishing digital economy and hundreds of thousands of new, good-paying jobs. In my view, when you have something that works, that has stood the test of time, you ought to make it permanent," Wyden said.

"The principle that no one can discriminate against businesses just because they're on the Internet is one that benefits consumers, employers and start-ups and should be enshrined in our tax code," he added.

"That is why it is so important to reject approaches like the Marketplace Fairness Act that passed the Senate last year, which would fundamentally discriminate against states that do not levy a sales tax and against U.S. companies versus their foreign competitors. It would amount to a body blow to online retailers and services across the country."

In the early days of the Internet, state and local jurisdictions sought to impose multiple and discriminatory taxes on the new medium, the senator's office said in a news release. This practice threatened to stifle innovation and economic growth of this economic platform.

Wyden's legislation would make ITFA's protections permanent, giving online innovators and entrepreneurs the stability they need to grow their businesses.

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