The fate of the internet tax moratorium remains uncertain as the Senate Commerce Committee failed last week to extend the ban. Before pulling the measure from consideration, Chairman Inouye was planning to offer a manager’s amendment that would have extended the ban for six years, surpassing the four-year extension provided by the Carper-Alexander bill, but falling short of the permanent ban envisioned by the competing Wyden proposal. The two camps will continue to negotiate ahead of the ban’s November 1 expiration. [Reuters]
Lobbying is fierce on both sides as the Senate Commerce Committee prepares to markup an extension of the internet tax moratorium extension. With the support of Ranking Member Ted Stevens, Chairman Inouye will take up the Carper-Alexander proposal, which will extend the ban through 2011. The Administration weighed in yesterday with a letter from Commerce Secretary Gutierrez and Treasury Secretary Paulson supporting the competing Wyden proposal, which would extend the moratorium permanently. The markup is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
The Senate Commerce Committee is poised to extend the internet tax moratorium by the end of next week. The moratorium prevents states and localities from taxing internet access, but will expire on November 1 unless Congress acts. There are two competing proposals that pit state legislatures and the National Governors Association against Google and Verizon.