Budget Bill Blocks Taxes On Internet

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Washington -- A bill to block states and cities from
imposing new taxes on the Internet was part of the enormous spending agreement that
Congress adopted last week.

At press time, President Clinton was expected to sign the
$520 billion omnibus spending bill.

The measure creates a three-year moratorium on new state
and local taxes on the Internet and Internet access. It also establishes a 19-member
commission to examine the prospects for cyber-taxation.

Another Internet-related measure included in the package
was an amendment that would exempt Internet companies that sell material deemed
"harmful" to minors from the tax moratorium.

The legislation also included a bill requiring commercial
Web sites to verify users' ages before granting them access to "harmful"
online material.

That measure was initially resisted by the White House,
which argued that it could be unconstitutional. In June 1997, the Supreme Court struck
down a similar, but more expansively worded, anti-Internet pornography provision from the
Telecommunications Act of 1996.

States News Service

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