Happy 25th birthday to the Internet Tax Freedom Act—a monumental piece of legislation that has been safeguarding the integrity of the internet economy for a quarter-century.
The relevance and significance of this Act cannot be overstated. It is especially important at a time when prices are continuously soaring and the government is constantly eyeing new avenues for taxation.
When the Internet Tax Freedom Act was first enacted, the internet was still in its infancy, but a bipartisan group of lawmakers, championed by former Rep. Chris Cox and now-Sen. Ron Wyden, had the foresight to understand that this burgeoning space had the potential to become the world’s largest marketplace. Their leadership elevated American dominance in the digital economy.
Fast forward to today, the internet is not just a luxury or an “add-on”; it is a necessity and a lifeline that connects us to everything from employment opportunities to critical healthcare information. The Act helped to create a level playing field, halting discriminatory taxes that would have stifled innovation, hampered small businesses and imposed financial burdens on consumers.
In our current economic climate, this Act is even more crucial. The upward trajectory of today’s inflation has led to soaring prices on goods and services across the board. At such a time, discriminatory taxes on internet access and online services would have been an additional, unbearable weight on already strained household budgets. The Act ensures the internet can remain an accessible and equitable space for all, not just a playground for those who can afford to pay premium prices.
Additionally, in an era where governments are increasingly looking to tax digital services and transactions, the Internet Tax Freedom Act serves as a protective barrier for American innovation and growth. It sends a strong message that the internet is a space for global commerce and communication—one that shouldn’t be hindered by arbitrary tax barriers.
As we celebrate this landmark act, let’s remember that we are not only fostering economic growth but are also safeguarding a critical resource that offers unprecedented opportunities for education, employment and empowerment.
Here’s to 25 years of Internet Tax Freedom—may it continue to be a bulwark to defend our wallets and digital freedoms for many more years to come!