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Government Stays Open, Net Taxes Avoided...For Now

Looks like the government won't be shutting down, at least before Dec. 11 and ISPs, and their customers, won't be subject to new taxes.

The House and Senate Wednesday (Sept. 30) passed a continuing resolution (CR) that keeps the government funded through that date. The bill did not include defunding Planned Parenthood. The President still has to sign the bill by midnight.

The CR did include extending the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) until Dec. 11, a cable source confirmed. That is the prohibition on state and local taxes on Internet access service except in the handful of states where such taxes were grandfathered when the moratorium, which has to be renewed periodically, passed in 1998.

Cable operators are pushing for a separate bill that would make the moratorium permanent.

ITFA would have also expired Sept. 30, after being renewed through that date as part of the last stop-gap government funding bill.

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.