updated 11:55 am EDT, Fri October 26, 2007
Senate approves tax ban
The US Senate has approved legislation to extend a ban of state taxes on Internet access, just days before it was set to expire, Reuters reports. Earlier in the month, the House of Representatives voted in favor of a four-year extension of the ban, designed to keep the costs of Internet access low, thereby supporting related businesses while encouraging infrastructure growth. Some ISPs claim that with taxes restored, costs could rise by as much as 17 percent. Unaltered, however, the approved Senate version of the ban would actually better its House counterpart, and forestall Internet access taxes for another seven years.
Though the Senate legislation constitutes a required validation of the House bill, it was altered to appease the desires of many senators -- including numerous Republicans -- who wanted a permanent tax ban, and were accusing Democrats of blocking a vote on that proposal. The Senate bill must now be brought back to the House, as both political bodies will have to reconcile differences.