Return to Home

Center Urges Immediate Senate Action

In the letter reproduced here, the Center for Individual Freedom urged Senate passage of H.R. 1552, the House-approved two-year extension of the Internet tax moratorium.



C.e.n.t.e.r ...F.o.r...I.n.d.i.v.i.d.u.a.l... F.r.e.e.d.o.m

.........Jeffrey Mazzella
.........Vice President, Legislative Affairs

November 8, 2001

The Honorable Tom Daschle
Majority Leader, United States Senate
S-221 U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Trent Lott
Minority Leader, United States Senate
S-230 U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Majority 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 Senate’s legislative calendar. Furthermore, I urge you to reject the so-called "compromise" bill, S. 1567, offered by Senators Michael Enzi and Byron Dorgan.

Senate failure 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."

Despite decades 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 House’s unwillingness to consider a lesser compromise in a conference committee.

In addition, 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 Center’s website that is devoted to this issue at


Jeffrey Mazzella
Vice President, Legislative Affairs

cc: Members of the U.S. Senate
cc: House Majority Leader Dick Armey
cc: Representative Christopher Cox


Return to Internet Index

Return to Internet Taxation Index