Carper Votes to Ban Taxes on Internet Access

Carper Wins Concessions on Internet Bill to Protect State Revenue Base

WASHINGTON (April 29, 2004) – Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., today voted to impose a four-year ban on Internet access taxes after reaching a compromise on the legislation, which passed the Senate on a 93-3 vote. Carper had opposed legislation [S. 150], sponsored by Sense. George Allen, R-Val., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., that would have imposed a permanent ban on Internet access taxes, saying it would provide a huge tax giveaway to the telecommunications industry, while hurting the revenue base of state and local governments. Carper, along with Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., had instead proposed a two-year extension of the ban on Internet access taxes that would have protected state and local governments from taxes they currently collect on telecommunications services. Today, after negotiations with Allen and Wyden, Carper was able to secure legislation that would impose a temporary ban on Internet access that would also do minimal harm to state and local governments. Specifically, the concessions won by Carper would: — Impose a temporary, four-year ban on Internet access taxes. — Allow states that were collecting taxes on Internet access prior to the 1998 moratorium to continue collecting those taxes over the next four years. — Protect states from losing any tax revenue that they collect on telephone calls as telephone services migrate to the Internet. “What we passed today was not perfect, but it represents a good compromise,” said Senator Carper. “Six months ago, the Senate was prepared to pass legislation that would have done irrevocable harm to state and local governments. But the compromise we passed today will do minimal harm to states, while also protecting consumers from taxes on their monthly Internet bills.”