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August 16
​Senators Introduce Bills that would Limit Local Taxing Authority
Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) have proposed two bills that aim to limit the ability of local governments to collect taxes on internet access and the sale of digital goods and services. The first bill, the Internet Tax Freedom Act (S. 1431) would make the current seven-year ban (PL 110-108) on assessing state and local taxes on internet access providers permanent. This bill is set to expire on November 1, 2014. 

 

The second bill is titled the Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act of 2013 (S. 1364) and it aims to block taxes on digital goods whose tangible counterparts are not taxed. For example, electronic music downloads would not be taxed if their tangible counterpart, the compact disc, was also not-taxed. This bill would apply not only to music downloads but also to digital goods such as electronic newspaper and magazine subscriptions; if a home-delivery subscription is not subject to taxes, then neither would its electronic counterpart.

 

In the House, Judiciary Chairman Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.) has expressed concern about the breadth and complexity of the internet sales tax mandate and has announced his plan to release a list of principles dealing with the issue.

 

NACo opposes federal efforts to limit the taxing authority of county governments and will continue to monitor the progress of these bills.

 

Contact: Yejin Jang at yjang@naco.org or 202.942.4239 

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