E-mail tax

Discussion in 'ten-forward' started by Smokey, May 24, 2003.

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  1. Smokey

    Smokey Registered Member

    Apr 1, 2002
    Annie's Pub
    E-mail tax: Senator just 'speaking off the cuff'

    A U.S. senator's idea to charge users for sending e-mail as a way to fight spam was just "public brainstorming," but may not become legislation, according to a spokesman for Senator Mark Dayton, who mentioned an e-mail tax at a hearing Wednesday.

    Dayton, a Minnesota Democrat, was among the witnesses at a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, speaking in support of a bill he introduced in March, the "Computer Owners' Bill of Rights," which proposes creating a national antispam registry but does not include a charge for sending e-mail. But Dayton also said "it's worth looking at" levying a small charge per e-mail sent, so that spammers who send millions of e-mail messages a day would be hit in the pocketbooks.

    "I think it's worth looking at some very, very small charge for every e-mail sent, so small that it would not be onerous for an individual or business that has regular (e-mail) use, but it would be a deterrent for those who are sending millions and even billions of these e-mails," Dayton said at the hearing.

    Asked for more details, a Dayton spokesman said Thursday, "It was the senator speaking fairly off the cuff, wondering out loud about ways to combat the spam problem."

    The senator's staff has not worked up any e-mail tax proposals and no legislation is planned at the moment, the spokesman said. Asked how much Dayton would propose to tax each piece of e-mail, the spokesman said, "It hasn't even gotten that far yet."

    Dayton's ideas were among several advanced at the committee hearing on spam. Including Dayton's bill and a wireless spam bill, there are five bills currently introduced in the U.S. Congress, with other bills likely on the way.

    A proposed e-mail tax has been a long-time hoax circulating on the Internet. An e-mail that has circulated since at least 2000 tells of a fictitious bill that would charge 5 cents per each e-mail sent. More information on that hoax is available at http://www.stiller.com/inttax.htm.

    Dayton's idea of charging for e-mail received quick reaction. "Give me a break!" e-mailed Arvil Cook, a training-facility scheduler from Houston after reading an IDG News Service report about the hearing. "If a tax will solve a problem, this would be the most problem-free nation on earth. This would end up being a tax on those that obey the law while the spammers would find a way to circumvent it."

    Source IDG News Service, Washington
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