The house passed a bill by a margin of 405-2 that will extend the ban on an Internet Tax for four more years. Essentially, it makes it nearly impossible for states to tax any ISP connection, DSL connection, and also prohibits any tax that treats online goods differently than the same goods bought in a brick and mortar store.
Of course, the Senate will still have to pass the bill to make it law, but it’s a resounding step in the right direction. I’m not entirely sure why the state can tax cellular phone service, so I obviously don’t think they should be able to tax internet connections. And I really don’t think that online sales should be treated any differently.
That isn’t to say that online sales shouldn’t be taxed. As more and more sales happen online, the pressure to be able to add a sales tax to those sales is going to increase. I dislike taxes as much as the next guy, but an online sales tax seems unavoidable. All this bill does is to make sure that they can’t treat those online sales differently by doubling the tax or something similar. Of course, they can’t do a half tax bit either, but who seriously believes that the states would do something half way?