Congress Passes Ban on Internet Access Taxes, Will Action on Internet Sales Tax Parity Be Next?

Posted on February 16, 2016 by Dene Westbrook

Last week, the  Senate passed the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, H.R. 644, which included a provision that will make permanent the temporary ban on state and local government’s authority to tax internet access (the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act or PITFA). The House has already supported the measure, so the bill is now headed to the President for his signature, which the White House has indicated he will provide.

There are a handful of states in which local governments levy such a tax, and the bill also eliminated their ability to continue to do so. While Michigan is not one of them, it is relevant because this issue was frequently tied together in a leverage-sort-of-way to help encourage Congress to act on online sales parity – known now as the Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 698).

And indeed, the bill was supported by many Congressional members in exchange for a commitment from Senate majority leadership to provide floor debate time on Marketplace Fairness later this year. The League will be discussing this issue as a priority in our Congressional visits in Washington DC in a few weeks.

Summer Minnick is the Director of External Relations and Federal Affairs. She can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0301.

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