Congress Passes Permanent Ban On Internet Access Taxes

Congress has voted to make permanent a federal law that prevents states or localities from taxing Internet access.

The US Senate accepted the measure as part of a larger trade bill, which passed today on a 75-20 vote.

Since the House has already passed a similar measure, the bill now heads to President Barack Obama for his signature.

There’s long been general agreement in Congress that taxing access to the Internet is a bad idea and shouldn’t be allowed.

But permanent consideration of the tax ban was held up by some lawmakers, including Sen.

Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who wanted it to be passed together with the Marketplace Fairness Act, or MFA.

The MFA mandates that Americans must pay sales tax on all online purchases.

It, too, has garnered majorities on both sides of the aisle, and a version was passed by the Senate in 2013 yet, it still hasn’t become law.

Durbin reportedly dropped his opposition to the access tax once Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) promised a vote on a new MFA later this year.

New law would force seven states to phase out existing tax schemes by 2020.


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