Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan: Don’t Tax the Internet!

Jun 9, 2015
Press Release
Florida Congressman Backs the “Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act”

Measure Passes U.S. House, Moves to Senate

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, released the following statement today after the House passed the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, a bipartisan bill to prohibit the government from taxing access to the Internet.

“At a time when millions of hard-working Floridians are struggling to pay their bills, the last thing we need is a new tax that hinders access to a free and open Internet,” said Buchanan, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. “I will continue fighting to keep the Internet free of charge and censorship for all Americans.”

Specifically, the House-passed bill (H.R. 235) would permanently extend the current tax moratorium that prevents states and localities from levying taxes on Internet access.  Its passage is absolutely critical because the 1998 law banning Internet taxation is set to officially expire later this year.  Failure to renew the ban could place a substantial burden on American families.

The National Taxpayers Union has praised the proposal, saying “any nation seeking to remain technologically and economically competitive should not punish the very citizens who are reaching out into the digital realm, especially by levying charges that are unlikely to have anything to do with bettering Internet service.”  

Buchanan has long been opposed to any new taxes on Internet usage. He strongly opposed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s  new government regulation of the Internet partly because it could open the door to Internet taxation.  He expressed his concerns about the FCC Internet takeover – commonly known as ‘net neutrality’ – in a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and in an op-ed for Fox News.

Buchanan also strongly opposed the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) – legislation to regulate freedom of expression on the Internet.

The bipartisan measure passed the House and now moves to the Senate for consideration.