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ITAA Says 103 Years of Talking Tax is Long Enough

By Damon Marturion
New Business News Staff Writer

ARLINGTON - Commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the declaration of the Spanish American War, the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) today called for an end to the Federal Excise Tax (FET), levied as a luxury tax to help fund that war.

The Federal Excise Tax, or ``tax on talking,'' is the 3 percent tax levied on the phone bill of every American. Although the Spanish American War lasted just under six months, the FET remains in effect 103 years later.

ITAA is supporting S. 234, the Help Eliminate the Levy on Locution Act (HELLO Act) introduced by Senator Charles Grassley in the Senate, and HR 236, introduced by Congressman Rob Portman in the House, legislation to eliminate the tax.

``Congress needs to repeal this taxation relic,'' said ITAA President Harris N. Miller. ``Teddy Roosevelt would be riding up San Juan Hill again today if he were alive to see this unfair burden. Making telecommunications more affordable by repealing unnecessary taxes will enhance the digital opportunity in this country. Users will benefit, especially those with lower and moderate incomes. We urge Congress and the Administration to do more than just talk about ending the tax on talking,'' Miller added.

The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) provides global public policy, business networking, and national leadership to promote the continued rapid growth of the IT industry. ITAA consists of more than 500 corporate members throughout the U.S., and a global network of 41 countries' IT associations.

The Association plays the leading role in issues of IT industry concern including information security, taxes and finance policy, digital intellectual property protection, telecommunications competition, workforce and education, immigration, online privacy and consumer protection, government IT procurement, human resources and e-commerce policy. ITAA members range from the smallest IT start-ups to industry leaders in the Internet, software, IT services, ASP, digital content, systems integration, telecommunications, and enterprise solution fields.

For more information visit www.itaa.org.

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