Opeds

State Tax Notes Names NetChoice as Organization of the Year

This week State Tax Notes named NetChoice and NCSL as “Organizations of the Year.”

In a world in which federal and state officials are debating ways to regulate and tax online commerce, NetChoice is at the forefront of the loyal opposition.

State Tax Notes recognizes NetChoice for its role in fighting proposals that fly in the face of its goal of “promoting convenience, choice and commerce on the net.

In the state remote sales tax arena, NetChoice moved quickly to sue South Dakota even before S.B. 106, the state’s remote sales tax bill, took effect May 1. On April 29 NetChoice joined the American Catalog Mailers Association to sue the state on the basis that S.B. 106 is facially unconstitutional.

NetChoice has been a consistent presence on the remote sales tax issue. It has fought diligently against efforts to pass legislation such as the Marketplace Fairness Act, a proposed federal law that would allow states to require remote sellers to collect and remit sales tax. Read more

NetChoice Applauds Introduction of Email Privacy Act

The Email Privacy Act (HR 387) would extend privacy protections to all electronic content, fixing a legacy flaw in our law that give little protection to emails over 6 months old. 

The bi-partisan Email Privacy Act (HR 387) brings common-sense legal privacy protections to all our electronic content.  Today, our privacy in electronic communication is protected by a 30-year-old law that is decades out of date.  The Act brings the 30-year-old ECPA law into the 21st Century,” said NetChoice Senior Policy Counsel Carl Szabo.

“We look forward to working with Congress in advancing this bill to benefit all Americans.”

Steve DelBianco speaks with Small Business Radio

Part 1: We’re losing the battle for online taxes and consumer privacy

Part 2: The ongoing war for privacy and security in the cloud

Part 3: How much online freedom did you lose in 2016?

The Lame Duck Is No Time to Cripple Internet Commerce

Online and catalog retailers around the country have made it clear to Congress that a radical remote sales tax mandate would cause severe hardships for their businesses and consumers across the United States.

As we enter the “lame duck,” the post-election session of this Congress, we are likely to see an effort to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act, even though this bill has not been on the floor of the House or Senate and has never even had a committee hearing. Our leaders in Congress should resist any effort to move MFA in the lame duck or attach it to must-pass legislation.

READ MORE at Morning Consult

On Surveillance, DOJ Needs to Know When to Fold ‘Em

Our Department of Justice needs to heed Kenny Rogers’ advice in “The Gambler,” and “know when to fold ‘em.” In their pursuit of data on Microsoft’s servers in Ireland, the DOJ is again betting on a bad hand, and they’re not going to bluff their way to a win when the stakes are so high for companies and consumers around the world.

Last week, the DOJ went all-in by petitioning the Second Circuit court for rehearing after losing this summer in court.

READ MORE at Morning Consult

Why is San Francisco trying to strangle its golden goose?

Detroit doesn’t place burdensome regulations on automobile manufacturers; Idaho doesn’t put undue restrictions and hurdles in front of potato farmers; and California takes steps to protect its farmers — because these industries are part of the lifeblood and identity of their respective states.

These industries do more than just create jobs, tax revenue and prestige — they became a symbol of who they are, part of the fabric of the community and the economy.

READ MORE at TechCrunch

Testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts

Protecting Internet Freedom: Implications of Ending U.S. Oversight of the Internet

Watch the Hearing Here

Retailers unite! Counter divide-and-conquer tactics on online sales tax

If other states copy a South Dakota law, businesses would face sales tax audits from across the country and costly software changes.

Divide-and-conquer is a tried-and-true strategy to defeat a superior enemy. It works in war and in business, but perhaps nowhere more so than in politics.  When it comes to online sales tax, state tax administrators and legislators managed to divide the retail business community in their drive to gain new tax powers at the expense of consumer choice and small business growth.

READ MORE at Internet Retailer

Let New Yorkers advertise extra space

Home-sharing and short-term rentals have been a boon to New Yorkers and other citizens across the country, enabling homeowners to better afford skyrocketing rents and home prices in the nation’s hottest real estate markets. In addition, it has provided tourists and business travelers with additional lodging options and kept neighborhood restaurants and businesses bustling.

READ MORE at Times Union

IANA Transition and ICANN Accountability proposals: thumbs-up from US Commerce Department

Today, NTIA announced its report on the community proposal for IANA transition and ICANN Accountability.  NTIA concluded that the proposal meet the conditions for transition, and would effectively protect ICANN from capture by governments. Read more

Rethink class action lawsuits in the digital age

It’s been said that making a mistake requires a person – making a big mistake requires a computer. And we’ve all experienced this. Accidentally hitting “reply all” or sending out a Tweet instead of a direct message.

While we all figured this out pretty quickly, greedy attorneys figured this out too. They realized they can mutate decades-old consumer protection rules into giant pay-days by combining harmless computer errors with class action lawsuits and statutory damages.

READ MORE at The Hill

Steve DelBianco Testifies at US Senate Commerce Committee Hearing on IANA

NetChoice Executive Director Steve DelBianco testified at the US Senate Commerce Committee Hearing – Examining the Multistakeholder Plan for Transitioning the Internet Assigned Number Authority where he discussed the importance of avoiding unreasonable delays on the transaition.

Watch the Hearing

Carl Szabo speaks About Home Sharing on Tech Policy Podcast

More at TechFreedom

A Victory for Innovation — How Arizona is Protecting the Short Term Rental Economy

Kudos to the state of Arizona State for proving that innovative problem solving is alive and well in the Grand Canyon State.

This past week, Governor Ducey signed into law landmark legislation that creates a blueprint for how all states should handle home sharing platforms such as HomeAway and Airbnb.  Not willing to rely on out-of-date, arcane regulation, created long before the first .com, Arizona chose the path of regulatory and legislative disruption. The result was Senate Bill 1350. Read more

ACMA and NetChoice File Legal Challenge against South Dakota’s “Blatantly Unconstitutional” Internet Sales Tax Law

Internet Sales Tax DelBianco v Bramble

Debating Internet Sales Taxes – Steve DelBianco (NetChoice) v UT Sen. Curt Bramble (NSCL)

Denver Post – A level playing field for fantasy sports in Colorado

More than 2.5 million fans are expected to attend games at Coors Field this season. And many are expected to be playing along on their computers and smartphones, too, with fantasy sports enhancing the fan experience like never before.

That is why Colorado lawmakers are on the right track with proposed legislation to preserve fans’ access to these services.

READ More at Denver Post

Why this tax bill is unfair

April 15 is one of the least liked and certainly the most expensive days of the year for many Americans. It is Tax Day when we all must ensure that we have paid our fair share. But, if big-box retailers get their way, every day will be tax day for small online sellers.

At both the federal and state levels big box stores are lobbying for new unfair taxes on our nation’s small internet retailers.

Read More at CNBC.com

Steve DelBianco testifies before the U.S. House Energy Committee – Privatizing the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority

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Let Me use HomeAway and Airbnb!

Open the Door to Home Sharing in Montgomery County

With its central location to the historic cities of Washington, DC and Baltimore, Montgomery County (MoCo) has consistently maintained a vibrant real estate market and a robust business travel and tourist economy.

The converging of expensive home prices and high real estate taxes with visitor demand makes MoCo an ideal locale for home sharing — a way for homeowners to earn additional revenue through the short-term renting of their properties. Read more