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House to Take Up Internet Tax Bill ... Again

The House Tuesday is scheduled once again to tee up a bill that would make permanent the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA).

In January, a bipartisan group of House members reintroduced the bill. ITFA prevents state and local taxes on Internet access in all but a handful of grandfathered jurisdictions.

ITFA, which expires unless reauthorized, has been extended five times since 1998, most recently through September 2015, when the moratorium was extended last December as part of a must-pass appropriations bill.

The House passed the bill in July 2014, but it got hung up in the Senate.

Cash-strapped states and local governments are always looking for new revenue sources, but the bill would make sure that would not include taxes on access to the Internet. That would make sense given that the government has made a priority of promoting Internet access and adoption and keeping the cost down.

The bill is spearheaded by Reps Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.)—ranking member of the Communications Subcommittee—and Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), cochair of the Congressional Internet Caucus. Also sponsoring the bill are Reps Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Tom Marino (R-Pa.)

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.