The lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste is warning its supporters that they could be paying up to 19% more for broadband access after Sept. 30 if Congress doesn't act soon.
In part, the warning is a fund-raising effort, with the group urging contributions to help fight for the legislation. The Senate has yet to follow the House's lead and a permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, which is a permanent moratorium on taxes on Internet service, and the temporary extension of the old moratorium, which must be periodically renewed or it sunsets, expires Sept. 30.
ITFA has been extended five times since 1998, most recently until Sept. 30, when the moratorium was extended as part of a must-pass stop-gap appropriations bill. That stop-gap is running out as well, and some Republicans are threatening to shut down the government over the issue of funding Planned Parenthood.
A hold-up for the permanent moratorium bill is that some in the Senate want it packaged with the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would give states and localities the ability to tax online sales.
The House passed a permanent ITFA in June over the objections of mayors, governors and telecom regulators.
The tax moratorium was supposed to expire Nov. 1, 2014, but the deadline was pushed back a couple of times as legislators worked on the permanent version.
Not surprisingly, ISPs have been pushing for passage of the permanent moratorium.
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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