The Internet turned 30 this year, and it’s hard for many individuals to believe that the Internet is so young. What would our lives be like if we couldn’t work hard, go home in the evenings, kick off our shoes, and relax by surfing the Web, downloading a song or movie, or play games against worldwide competitors? There was once a time when families prioritized family time together and spent the moments talking about their day, their difficulties, and questions about life. Now, there’re a number of families that use the Internet to “fill the void” when they’ve got free time.
At some point during the 1990s, when the Internet had been thriving for a few years, a few congressmen decided that it was time to tax the Internet. After all, most American homes had at least one computer (if not more), and the nationwide tax would bring in greater profit. As a reaction to what many believed to be a fundamental right, the Internet Tax ban was implemented in a law known as the Internet Tax Freedom Act.
However, the ban on email, Web, server, and other taxes expires this coming November 1st, which means that the old tax idea, once deemed ridiculous, is now up for grabs.
Whereas the broad consensus in the ‘90s disapproved of the idea of an Internet usage tax, today’s Senate seems to advocate a new Internet usage tax. The worst part of it all is that the US Senate approval is bipartisan – meaning, it’s coming from both Democratic and Republican senators. The Internet usage tax committee consists of six individuals, three Republicans and three Democrats: Michael Enzi (Rep., Wyoming), Dick Durbin (Dem., Illinois), Lamar Alexander (Rep., Tennessee), Heidi Heitkamp (Dem., North Dakota), Susan Collins (Rep., Maine), and Mark Pryor (Dem., Arkansas). These six individuals want to tax American consumers even more with an Internet usage tax.
As for the tax itself, local and state tax collectors would be able to tax transactions that occur outside of their state lines. The reason behind it is the same reason behind every tax: it’s a way to make money, plain and simple.
And on November 1st, Americans will see what new taxes they’ll have to pay, to add to the never-ending list. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a breath tax some time down the line in a future Congressional hearing.