A Victory for the Internet, Entrepreneurs and Consumers: Senate Passes Bill to Ban Internet Access Taxes

February 11, 2016

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate, Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, issued the following statement after the Senate passed H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 conference report, which includes a Thune-led provision to ban Internet access taxes, by a vote of 75-20.
“The passage of this bill is a victory for the Internet, entrepreneurs and consumers,” said Thune. “Keeping the Internet tax free is key to our efforts to connect more Americans to the Internet, particularly in rural areas, and to advance to the next generation of connectivity. Passage of this legislation creates an immediate new incentive for investment in broadband infrastructure in areas lacking high-speed broadband.”
The bill protects consumers from higher taxes on Internet service by adopting the Thune-Wyden Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act, which prevents state and local jurisdictions from imposing taxes on Internet access and multiple and discriminatory taxes on e-commerce. The bill also included a four-year grandfather provision for the seven states that currently tax Internet access.
Earlier today, Thune spoke on the Senate floor about the importance of passing the conference report, which now heads to President Obama for his signature.