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COMPUTING

House passes resolution on Net tax

October 28, 1999
Web posted at: 10:46 a.m. EDT (1446 GMT)

by Margret Johnston

From...
IDG.net
Image

(IDG) -- The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Tuesday in favor of a motion that calls on the World Trade Organization to enact a permanent moratorium on e-commerce taxes during its meeting next month in Seattle.

The House passed the concurrent resolution by a vote of 423 to 1, said Paul J. Wilkinson, a spokesman for the bill's sponsor, Representative Chris Cox, a Republican from California. The resolution has the support of the Clinton administration, Wilkinson said. Wilkinson did not know who cast the lone vote against the resolution.

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At last year's WTO meeting, the U.S. pushed through an agreement among the more than 130 WTO member countries to support a one-year moratorium on Internet taxes. Today's resolution seeks to preserve the status quo, as none of the members currently tax e-commerce, Wilkinson said.

The resolution passed by the House today, known as the Global Internet Tax Freedom Act, also calls on the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to support the moratorium and enact no taxes on the Internet or on electronic commerce. The resolution also condemns the so-called "bit tax" proposed last summer in a United Nations report. The bit tax would impose tariffs on electronically delivered information based on the amount of data transmitted.

Cox and Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon and the Senate sponsor of the Global Internet Tax Freedom Act, have teamed up as sponsors of a number of Internet taxation bills, including last year's Internet Tax Freedom Act, which placed a three-year moratorium on special taxation of the Internet in the U.S.



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