(Jim Marchant) – There is a battle going on in the U.S. House of Representatives over an issue near and dear to most of us who use computers on a daily basis: Taxes on the Internet. The government has been trying to figure out how to tax the Internet since its inception. There are bills going through Congress right now that address Internet taxation and the American people need to be aware of them.
There are two distinct ways government has and is continuing to try and tax the Internet: Sales Tax on Internet access (tax on Internet Service Providers) and Sales Tax on Online Internet sales. These are insidious ways for government to feed itself and most people will not notice until they are paying these taxes.
Taxes on Internet Access: In 1994, I started one of the first Internet Service Provider (ISP) companies in the country in Florida before most people knew what the Internet was. In 1996, I worked very hard and closely with Governor Jeb Bush and current candidate for the Speaker of the U.S. House, Rep. Dan Webster, to prevent the state from taxing Internet access, and with a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, the first Internet taxation prohibition was written into law! The next challenge was to make this a nationwide law. I then founded and organized the Federation of Internet Solution Providers of the Americas (FISPA), which went on to lead the effort at the national level. In 1998, as President, we successfully lobbied the U.S. Congress to pass the Internet Tax Freedom Act that barred taxation on Internet access, and it was signed into law by President Clinton. Unfortunately, that law had sunsets and these have been extended five times since then, most recently last year. The good news is, now there is a new bill, H.R. 235, that would make the sunsets permanent (the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act), which passed in the House but languishing in the Senate Committee on Finance. Urge your Senator to pass this bill.
Internet Sales and Use Tax: There are also bills in both the House (H.R. 2775, the Remote Transactions Parity Act of 2015) and the Senate (S. 698, Marketplace Fairness Act) which would impose the oppressive administrative burden requiring all businesses that sell products on the Internet to collect and submit sales tax to almost 10,000 sales tax localities throughout the country. The administrative burden would be unimaginable for most companies that sell items on the Internet. This would cause countless numbers of them to go out of business. So why is a Candidate running for office on a state level concerned about a National level issue? Because this bad law will adversely affect thousands of businesses and individuals in Nevada.
What is really troubling about this is that a Republican, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffitz, introduced the RTPA. The bill is supported by the Marketplace Fairness Coalition, which is comprised of business and trade associations, organized to protect brick-and-mortar retailers. (Ever wonder how these bills and organizations are named? How often the name is exactly the opposite of what they actually stand for?)
Only the large corporations will be able to afford this. Small businesses that sell across their own state lines over the Internet will have to employ accountants and maybe even lawyers to comply with this law. Why do our representatives, sadly including some Republicans hate small businesses? Why do we have to convince our lawmakers at all levels, and especially Republicans, who claim to represent the interests of the free market, to oppose any and all efforts to enact such a law? What has happened to our once great Conservative Republican Party?
Our American Revolution began with a protest against taxes imposed by an overreaching government. Let’s show the lawmakers that we still won’t stand for it. Please contact your Representative and tell them to oppose this job and business killing bill.
For more information, Click on the links below and visit these sites. They provide more information and will allow you to contact your representatives to let them know that you oppose this bill.
Join “Americans for Tax Reform” and stop this ridiculous Job and Business killing Internet Tax!
Please act and let your Representatives know that you want them to oppose this bill!
Jim Marchant is a candidate for Nevada State Assembly District 37. For more information, visit www.jimmarchantforassembly.com.