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Tax Law Puts Internet on a Fair Footing

November 18, 2003

Re "Internet Needs No Subsidies," editorial, Nov. 12: The Internet Tax Non-Discrimination Act would not subsidize the Internet. Rather, it keeps Internet access affordable for consumers by prohibiting multiple taxes (from the many jurisdictions that even a simple e-mail is routed through) and discriminatory taxes (new Internet-only taxes that don't apply in the offline world, like e-mail taxes, bit taxes, bandwidth taxes and Internet access taxes). It would not "exempt broadband content from local levies" or make the Internet a "tax-free haven." States can tax Internet commerce to their hearts' content. (Sigh.) The claim that it would "rip away billions" in tax revenues is bogus.

As the author of the 1998 law and the current bill to make it permanent, I can tell you why Govs. Pete Wilson and Gray Davis both supported it: The ban on multiple and discriminatory taxes will help close the digital divide and help the state collect more taxes from the economic growth to which an unimpaired Internet will contribute.

Rep. Christopher Cox

R-Newport Beach

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