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Press Release

    Commission Deadlocked, but battle just beginning

    03/22/2000

    Regrettably, the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce has failed in its mission to provide guidance to Congress. Because of a few pro-tax commissioners who were adamant in their determination to raise taxes on consumers, the commission walked away without a recommendation.

    Charged with recommending a plan to keep the Internet free from harmful and discriminatory taxation, Virginia Gov. Gilmore, chairman of the commission, lead a valiant effort that culminated in a majority of the commission voting to support a five year extension of the Internet tax moratorium. However, several shortsighted pro-tax commissioners cast their votes against the best interest of consumers, and the commission was unable to meet the two-thirds vote requirement needed to make a formal recommendation to Capitol Hill lawmakers.

    As the Dallas Morning News editorialized: "The commission, particularly the administration's representatives, had an obligation to clearly articulate its leanings to Congress. In failing to do so, the document that goes to Congress will be considerably less than instructive. The commission failed its mission."

    Citizens for a Sound Economy will carry the battle against Internet taxes back to the place where it was originally waged - Capitol Hill. We will mobilize our grassroots activists to send a message to lawmakers that consumers are opposed to Internet taxes. CSE is circulating an electronic grassroots petition against Internet taxes that we will send to Congress letting them know that their constituents support a tax-free Internet.

    At the Dallas commission meeting, CSE hosted a rally against Internet tax for activists and concerned citizens. Commissioner Dean Andal dropped by, picked up a t-shirt and signed the petition, as did the Vice President of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, Michael Cox. A number of the pro-consumer commissioners even had our t-shirts on display at their desk as they held the line against Internet taxation.

    CSE urges you to make your voice heard; sign our petition today, letting Congress know that you are opposed to taxes that limit the ability of consumers to fully benefit from the Internet and the high-tech economy.