Net taxes could arrive by this fall
[c|net news.com, free]
The era of tax-free e-mail, Internet shopping and broadband connections could end this fall, if recent proposals in the U.S. Congress prove successful.
State and local governments this week resumed a push to lobby Congress for far-reaching changes on two different fronts: gaining the ability to impose sales taxes on Net shopping, and being able to levy new monthly taxes on DSL and other connections. One senator is even predicting taxes on e-mail....
...One long-standing objection to mandatory sales tax collection, which the Supreme Court in a 1992 case left up to Congress to decide, is the complexity of more than 7,500 different tax agencies that each have their own (and frequently bizarre) rules. Some legal definitions (PDF) tax Milky Way Midnight candy bars as candy and treat the original Milky Way bar as food. Peanut butter Girl Scout cookies are candy, but Thin Mints or Caramel deLites are classified as food....
...If the temporary federal moratorium is allowed to expire in November, states and municipalities will be allowed to levy a dizzying array of Net access taxes--meaning a monthly Internet connection bill could begin to resemble a telephone bill or airline ticket with innumerable and confusing fees tacked on at the end. In some states, telephone fees, taxes and surcharges run as high as 20 percent of the bill.... [more, emphasis mine]
how to stop this, i don't know. i do know the article cites an activist/lobbying organization called the National Taxpayers Union. they're probably about to get a teensy donation from me. i will also be e-mailing my u.s. representatives and my u.s. senators. i am also spreading the word (pardon me if you see this cross-posted!).
if you think, for a moment, this can't happen, let's put it in perspective, shall we?
Cost of Iraq war could surpass $1 trillion: [msnbc, free] "One thing is certain about the Iraq war: It has cost a lot more than advertised. In fact, the tab grows by at least $200 million each and every day...."