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PERMANENT INTERNET ACCESS TAX MORATORIUM ESSENTIAL TO GETTING MORE AMERICANS ONLINE
NEW YORK, September 17, 2003 – The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) today expressed its appreciation to the United States House of Representatives for passing H.R. 49, which will make the Internet Access Tax Moratorium permanent. The DMA commended Rep. Christopher Cox (R-CA) for introducing this important piece of legislation that will allow the Internet to grow as a vehicle for borderless, global commerce and communications.
The DMA now urges the United States Senate to promptly pass a similar measure (S. 52) introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) before the current temporary moratorium sunsets on November 1, 2003. Permanently eliminating Internet access taxes will undoubtedly lead to more Americans being able to afford and use Internet services.
"The relatively easy passage of H.R. 49 today by the House reflects a widespread and bi-partisan belief that the Internet is a important and growing channel for communications, education, and commerce, both here at home and around the globe," said Jerry Cerasale, senior vice president, government affairs, The DMA. "Hopefully, President Bush soon will be able to sign this bill into law, thereby permanently removing an access-tax barrier from impeding the growth of the Internet."
"We are also pleased that today’s passage of H.R. 49 in effect de-links the Internet access tax issue from the far more controversial remote sales tax collection, which would impact online as well as catalog and other at-distance commerce," said Cerasale. "Now if the Senate and President follow the House’s lead, we will be assured that that Internet access will not be held hostage by contentious narrow interests."
The DMA is the leading trade association for businesses interested in interactive and database marketing, with nearly 4,700 member companies from the United States and 53 other nations. Founded in 1917, its members include direct marketers from every business segment as well as the nonprofit and electronic marketing sectors. Included are catalogers, Internet retailers and service providers, financial services providers, book and magazine publishers, book and music clubs, retail stores, industrial manufacturers and a host of other vertical segments, including the service industries that support them. According to a DMA-commissioned study, direct and interactive marketing sales in the United States are projected to have surpassed $2 trillion in 2002, including $126 billion in catalog sales and $34 billion in sales generated by the Internet. The DMA's Web site iswww.the-dma.org, and its consumer Web site is www.shopthenet.org.
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