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    ARE CELL PHONES A ROAD HAZARD?

    BY Michael Vallante
    09/10/2000
    by Michael Vallante on 9/10/00.

    No Internet sales tax

    GOV. Davis will consider legislation (AB 2412) that would require the application of sales taxes to Internet sales within California (Opinion, Sept. 6). He should veto this legislation.

    While proponents argue this legislation closes a loophole, we see it differently. By creating a new tax, the Legislature will put an additional burden on California's consumers. We should repeal taxes on the Internet, not create new ones. Consumers already pay between 20 percent and 40 percent in communications taxes -- regressive taxes that expand the "digital divide."

    "Blocking" the loophole will drive e-commerce from California by unfairly penalizing an industry that has contributed greatly to California in the form of revenue and jobs. To approve a new tax would open a Pandora's box of new taxes and new regulations.

    The promise of information technology and the value of electronic commerce are not partisan issues. Nor can they reasonably pit Main Street vs. a dot-com world. Consumers stand to benefit when information -- and commerce -- can move without undue governmental penalties and burdens.

    Michael Vallante
    California director
    Citizens for a Sound Economy
    Pasadena