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Politicians in Baton Rouge are quickly trying to rush through a new, multi-million dollar internet tax hike that proponents are claiming will help crack down on internet crimes such as child pornography and fraud.
HB 569 will impose a $.15 per month fee on bills from internet service providers to fund a new “Internet Crimes Investigation Fund.” The bill recently passed the Louisiana House and will be heard in the Senate this week.
Cracking down on crime, and particularly crimes involving children, is a noble cause indeed. But HB 569 is the wrong approach.
Lawmakers supporting this legislation are rushing to a big-government solution, even without allowing state law enforcement agencies adequate time to evaluate what they truly need. No credible studies have been produced to justify the creation of this new fund and the tax increase it requires. At the same time more localized efforts to combat online crimes have enjoyed success by better utilizing existing resources. For example, the Northwest Louisiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force has been extremely successful while operating on about $150,000 to $200,000 a year and relying on cooperation from a host of local law enforcement and district attorney’s offices in the region.
Legislators need to think innovatively and prioritize projects instead of simply looking to expand government on the backs of hard-working Louisiana taxpayers. The size of the proposed new Internet Crimes fund may seem modest at this point, but just creating it opens the door to a slippery-slope of new government spending. We’ve all seen how bureaucracies can so easily grow out-of-control and as well-intentioned as they might be, turn into government slush-funds with taxpayers on the hook.
Don’t let politicians use the idea of keeping children safe to cram more big government down your throat. TAKE ACTION NOW before the Senate takes up HB 569 and tell them to oppose this new internet tax hike scheme!