House passes resolution on Net tax
(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.
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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