Moratorium on Internet taxes, about to expire.

It seems that the moratorium on taxing internet purchases or conversations is going to expire on 11/01/03. WTF, How can Tennessee tax me for an e-mail from Colorado to Wyoming??? I could possibly have to pay a sales tax from Vermont…If i’m wrong flame me to Hell. but if I send an e-mail to someone in Wyoming and it is routed through Tennessee, Tennessee could possibly charge me a fee(TAX). Where are the LAWYERS to protect my God given right to e-mail??? The way I see it, a community could impose a tax on my ISP! This sucks the big lebowski…If I am wrong, all SDMB members can have a straight eye for the queer guy look at my backside…

Um, cite? Link the doomsaying article please?

Did bjorn move from Iceland to Colorado?

I found this…

and this on Google so far.

Does anyone know the current status of this? Would they tax e-mails, or just products bought over the internet?

Here’s an organization that opposes internet taxes.

Ah hahGood news? Can anyone else find an article about this from another source?

Eep! It IS down to the wire…Day old article.

Snopes’s urban legends pages are your friend…

John Carter of Mars Reading links provided are ALSO your friends. There really is a bill waiting in line for the Senate to vote on, dealing with taxes, and the internet. The stories I provided make NO claims that the Post Office is trying to tax e-mail. There is a heated debate as to whether or not to tax internet access, and purchases from small businesses too.


From the link I provided above.

Odd, then, don’t you think, that a search of CNN news site for “internet sales tax” produced these results

with the most relevant being stories about states considering the move? The Snopes site mentioned the other issues as well.

Sales tax on internet purchases is a hot button topic a lot of places, but I see no reason to believe that suddenly Sunday (cue up the music) we’ll be paying taxes on purchases nationally.

I hope we don’t get taxed on internet access. How would they work it? A monthly fee tacked onto our internet bill, or would every minute we spent online be taxed? (the last isn’t likely)

I too, don’t think we’ll immeadiately see grasping hands reaching for our coins on Sunday morning, I just hope the Senate gets off it’s butt and votes in time, and that they pass the permanent bill too.

My question, ZC, is: is your opposition to sales taxes on purchases made over the Web based on their being worse than other possible ways that states can raise revenue, or are you against this simply because it’s a tax and you’re against all taxes?

Of course, another potential reason to favor the moratorium is for the Federal government to tell those silly states what they can and can’t do. (Uncle Sam to Arizona: "when I say ‘frog’, you better say, ‘how high?’ ")

I get taxed on Internet access. Earthlink charges a tax on my DSL connection (total bill, not usage). They started it a few months ago.

For a topic that could have an effect on every internet user in America, I’m just not seeing a whole lot of responses. Mayhaps, the majority likes to be taxed, or I just fouled up a pretty good thread…or is that a new topic, but then it would rest in IMHO…I hereby give permission to be hijacked. bojon

bojon: I think the lack of responses is due to the fact that the Federal Government removing a moratorium on taxes doesn’t automatically mean that taxes will follow. State legislators and elected officials would have to be mighty brave (A trait politicians aren’t noted for) to impose a general internet tax.

Just MHO.

There are three different potential taxes here, as I see it:

  1. A tax on internet access charges. - Certainly possible, DeadlyAccurate already has one. I pay taxes on my phone bill (including one that is over 25% of the actual bill!), and on my cable TV; I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to have taxes on my DSL access as well.

  2. A sales tax on internet purchases. - I will be astonished if this does not begin to happen. Internet puchase sales tax in Colorado currently depends on the vendor having a brick and mortar presence in the state. However, I already pay tax on my book club purchases and DVD club purchases, from companies based in other states, and I see no reason the internet should be exempted.

  3. An email tax. - This is the urban legend piece. Ain’t gonna happen.

Just my 3 cents.

I oppose taxing a person’s access to the internet. If the tax were high enough, it could make many useful and beneficial functions on the Net prohibitive in cost.

Examples: Police departments nationwide/worldwide would not be able to exchange/gather information as quickly and efficiently, Organ Donor programs would definately have their functions cut, students in small towns with homework to research via the Net at their local library would not be able to do so as well (I have been in really poorly stocked small town libraries, and some very well stocked small town libraries.) etc.

These are all very positive things that can be accessed via the internet. I think paying money to an ISP is enough, why tax the person’s access too? I use the Net to read the world news, stay in touch with my family, and play Everquest. I also call my parents and talk for a while every so often, (using a pre-paid AT&T phone card and my in-law’s phone) if I didn’t have net access, my phone calls would not increase.

I think the phone companies have not thought things through well enough. Ordinary people aren’t going to curtail their net usage if they have to pay a tax on it. (Unless the tax really is prohibitive) I have DSL already, and no phone of my own at all.

I’ll add, I don’t necessarily oppose taxing purchases online, as long as the laws can be made fair and un-ambigous concerning such things. From what I understand, one of the problems lies in just how to apply the taxes. Example: A person in Texas is buying an item from a company in Maine, does the purchaser pay Texas taxes, or Maine taxes? Why not make a “flat rate” tax for online purchases involving buyers and sellers within the United States, no matter where in the States the people are, have it be an “average”? (E-bay would be affected too.) That MIGHT be fair.

Why on earth should there be sales taxes on out-of-state internet and mail order companies? Those companies don’t consume any of the resources provided by state and local government within the state.

Seriously. If there’s a fire at one of’s warehouses, is the state of Texas going to dispatch a fire truck to Washington state? Are California police officers going to protect Jeff Bezos’s corporate offices from break-ins?

Dewey, if sales taxes work in the manner you suggest, then how are the fire trucks in Washington State funded when they go to put out the Amazon fire? Maybe the law should be that the sales tax of the originating state applies, since that’s the state that bears the burden for providing services to the vendor.

Of course, then you might see all Internet businesses moving their HQ to Oregon and other no-sales-tax states (OR is no-sales-tax, right?), which isn’t a happy consequence for anyone. Maybe the best alternative is to figure that it’ll all even out, that folks in NC buying from Amazon will put revenue in NC’s coffers, whereas folks from WA buying from Adam & Eve will put revenue in WA’s coffers.