Leader Daschle and Minority Leader Lott:
On behalf of
the Center for Individual Freedom, I am writing to urge immediate
passage of H.R. 1552, the House-approved two-year extension of the
Internet tax moratorium currently awaiting action on the Senates
legislative calendar. Furthermore, I urge you to reject the so-called
"compromise" bill, S. 1567, offered by Senators Michael
Enzi and Byron Dorgan.
to pass an extension of the Internet tax moratorium prior to its
expiration on October 21, has opened the door to the type of "economic
mischief" by state and local taxing authorities that Congress
sought to prevent when it overwhelmingly approved the Internet Tax
Freedom Act (ITFA) in 1998. While there is widespread support in
the Senate to extend the provisions of ITFA, failure to do so has
been the result of a handful of members refusal to deal with
this important issue without tying it to the completely separate
and contentious issue of states sales and use tax "simplification."
of debate, Congress and the states have failed to reach even a minimal
consensus on the "simplification" issue. The Enzi-Dorgan
bill does not get us closer to such consensus, and only serves to
block a clean extension of the moratorium. H.R. 1552 already marks
a significant compromise, and House Majority Leader Dick Armey has
expressed the Houses unwillingness to consider a lesser compromise
in a conference committee.
S. 1567 has not been subject to Congressional hearings and debate,
thus circumventing the deliberative process that is imperative on
such a complex issue, with so much at stake.
The Center for
Individual Freedom has vigorously supported and will continue to
support a permanent extension of the moratorium on multiple and
discriminatory taxes on the Internet and Internet access taxes.
Due to the political obstructionism that allowed the moratorium
to expire, it is imperative that the Senate immediately approve
the House-passed version of H.R. 1552, without amendments. Failure
to do so will forever mark the
Senate as the
chamber that subjected the Internet to the imposition of new and
discriminatory taxes, the chamber that put the brakes on the developing
economic engine of tomorrow.
The Center for
Individual Freedom is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with
the mission to focus attention on individual freedoms and rights
guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. As free-market advocates, we
are opposed to over-burdensome state and federal regulations and
taxing regimes that will impede the evolution of electronic commerce.
If you have
any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 703-535-5836,
or visit the portion of the Centers website that is devoted
to this issue at www.cfif.org/legis/federal/internet/tax/index.html.
Vice President, Legislative Affairs
cc: Members of the U.S. Senate
cc: House Majority Leader Dick
cc: Representative Christopher