Norquist: Higher Taxes For 90 Percent Of Americans If Regulators Touch Internet

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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If regulators follow President Obama’s advice and re-classify the Internet as a public utility, a slew of regulations and fees will be unleashed, and taxes could increase for 90 percent of Americans, Grover Norquist warned Tuesday.

Subjecting the Internet to Title II regulation under the Communications Act of 1934 would give the Federal Communications Commission the authority it wants to prevent broadband services from charging for higher speeds or intentionally slowing them down for certain customers.

Supporters of the move, including Obama, argue the federal government needs to step in to ensure everyone has equal access to the Internet. But Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, and ATR State Director Patrick Gleason argue subjecting the Internet to decades old regulations would stifle innovation and hurt the economy. (RELATED: AAF: Obama’s Plan To Regulate The Internet Is A Terrible Idea)

Americans would face $15 billion a year in new taxes, and on average would pay an extra $67 for landline broadband and an extra $72 for mobile broadband, they wrote in a Reuters column published Tuesday.

“Subjecting Internet service providers to such onerous rules would depress innovation and penalize Web users,” Norquist and Gleason wrote. “Not only would higher taxes and fees leave individuals, families, and employers with less disposable income, a wealth of research indicates it would be bad for the economy.”

The FCC is expected to make a decision early this year.

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