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Senators Agree on Ban on Internet Tax

April 29, 2004

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Senators working on a bill that would ban taxation of Internet connections said Thursday that they had narrowed their differences and were close to a compromise.

``I think the end is now in sight,″ said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

The Senate could soon pass a 4-year ban on taxing services connecting consumers to the Internet, said Senate Commerce Committee John McCain, R-Ariz.

Senators spent much of the week clashing over the ban’s potential impact on state and local governments.

McCain said senators would adjust the bill to make sure it’s clear that the ban doesn’t effect burgeoning technology, known as Voice Over Internet Protocol or VOIP, that allows consumers to use the Internet for traditional telephone calls.

Some opponents had said that telecommunication companies could use Internet technology to avoid paying most state and local taxes.

Senators also agreed to let states that started taxing Internet connections before the first ban passed in 1998 continue their levies.

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The bill is S. 150.

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On the Net:

Congress: http://thomas.loc.gov

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