Louisiana Legislators Approve Internet Tax on All Users

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The legislators in the state of Louisiana have approved an across-the-board Internet tax on all users. Any Louisiana resident who has an Internet account will be charged the tax, and ISPs will be required to collect it from them.

The measure, which passed with a huge margin in a vote of 81 to 9, was introduced by Louisiana Representative Mack “Bodi” White on behalf of Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell as a way of taxing Internet access in order “to raise money to finance a division in Caldwell’s office that investigates Internet crimes, particularly online sex crimes against children.”


“The source of monies in this fund shall be a fee equal to fifteen cents per month for each Louisiana consumer account billed for Internet access. This fee shall be collected by the Internet access service provider from each account billed and remitted to the Department of Revenue. The fee shall be the liability of the consumer and not the Internet service provider.”

(There is an exemption for schools and libraries.)

Opined one of the Louisiana Rep. Simone Champagne, who voted in favor of the law, “I don’t think that 15 cents per month is too much to ask for our children’s protection.”

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Rep. White actually calls the tax a “usage fee”, however the measure’s (few) opponents see it for what it is – an Internet tax. Internet taxes are in fact not permitted under Federal law, and opponents say that simply calling it a “usage fee” should not exempt if from the prohibition on Internet taxes.

Said one of the bill’s opponents, Rep. Austin Badon, TToday it’s Internet access. Tomorrow, what’s it going to be? A subscription to DirecTV?”, adding “I don’t think we should start instituting a revenue stream for every criminal element that’s out there.”

By contrast, Rep. John Schroder, who is known as being generally anti-tax, supported the measure. “As the anti-tax man, I can’t think of a better fee, tax that we can impose … I don’t know a better use for 15 cents,” he said.

 

The bill still has to go to the Senate, where it’s also likely to pass. However, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal may well veto it, as he is ardently against raising taxes. On the other hand, he is equally ardently against sex offenders, so he may not veto it.

Jindal’s office issued a statement illustrating the rock and hard place between which Governor Jindal finds himself. “While we absolutely support cracking down on sex offenders that prey on our children, we’re opposed to raising taxes on the people of Louisiana,” Jindal’s office said.

So, how do you feel about an Internet tax? How would you feel if it came to your state or country?

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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One thought on “Louisiana Legislators Approve Internet Tax on All Users

  1. Wow! They try to make it palatable by saying “it’s for the chillldrunn!” and calling it a “usage fee” rather than a tax. SO transpatent. I didn’t know Internet taxes were prohibited under federal law, so I hope someone decides to fight this in court. I think it’s a VERY bad precedent to set as I’m sure other other states will eagerly jump on the same bandwagon using the same rationale. :-/

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