A Proposed Ban on Net Taxes

5 October 1999
Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have introduced legislation that calls on U.S. trade officials and the World Trade Organization (WTO) to administer a permanent ban on Internet taxes. The legislation additionally mandates that the U.S. will attempt to nix bit taxes placed on the Net by other countries.

Wyden, one of the key proponents of the 1998 Internet tax ban, might ask fellow Congressmen to give the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce more time to reach a consensus. The Commission has been asked to report its findings to Congress by April 2000.

Wyden has complained that the Commission is stalling and that the final report will be biased in favor of Net taxes. Virginia Governor James Gilmore, who chairs the Commission, says the report will be fair. "As the Internet tax debate continues, I will work to ensure all sides of this public debate are heard," Gilmore said.

While the U.S. undergoes a one-year moratorium imposed by the WTO on Internet taxes, several European countries are aggressively seeking a way to place value-added taxes on merchandise.