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FreedomWorks fought hard for S. 150, the Internet Tax Nondiscrimination Act, because it extends the ban on state and local taxes on Internet access and services for the next four years. The bill, which passed Congress last week, covers citizens in every state, but it is especially sweet for Internet users in Wisconsin. That’s because Wisconsin had a special exemption that allows the state and Wisconsin local governments to levy taxes on Internet access. But thanks to Menomonee Falls Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, a provision in S. 150 ends the Wisconsin exemption and will save Wisconsin taxpayers millions of dollars a year.
Wisconsin is one of only a handful of states that currently taxes Internet access. Under current law, Wisconsin applies a 5% sales tax on Internet access, with up to an additional half-percent tax in localities that have such a tax. In 2002, the state billed Wisconsin Internet users an estimated $24.3 million. With the passage of S. 150, this tax will be eliminated on November 1, 2006.
Rep. Sensenbrenner told the media on November 19th, "What this means is that if your Internet access bill is $20 a month, then beginning November 1, 2006, people in Wisconsin will save at least a dollar, if not more, each month. This savings will allow more low-income individuals to access the Internet and relieve a tax burden on Wisconsin's economic growth.”
"While Governor Doyle and Senator Kohl support this tax and believe that the money should go to the state, I believe this tax should be eliminated, so that the people of Wisconsin can decide how best to spend their own money.”
At FreedomWorks, we agree with Rep. Sensenbrenner, and we salute his work on S. 150 to keep the Internet free from special access taxes.