eBay Presses Congress For Internet Tax Ban

    October 4, 2007

Brian Bieron, eBay’s senior director of federal government relations testified before the House Small Business Committee and said that small businesses would be negatively impacted if a permanent ban on Internet access taxes were not implemented.

eBay Presses Congress For Internet Tax Ban
eBay Presses Congress For Internet Tax Ban

Bieron did not say directly that eBay would be hurt without the ban but he did point out that the effects on ecommerce would be far reaching.

"More importantly, fewer consumers will use the Internet," Bieron said before the committee. "And, for the small businesses using the Internet, that means fewer sales and less opportunity to compete with the mega retailers."

Congress first enacted a moratorium on taxing Internet access in 1998. The moratorium does not allow state and local governments to tax the connection to basic Internet content. It has been extended twice since it was first imposed but is due to expire on November 1.

Bieron estimated that 720,000 small businesses use eBay as their main or secondary marketing channel and said it was a "lifeline" against major retailers. He said through eBay 15 percent of sales of U.S. small businesses are exported and small businesses can find products from around the globe on the site.

If Internet access is taxed then small businesses could see a 15 to 30 percent increase in their Internet bills.