President Bush today signed a seven-year extension for a bill that bans taxes on internet access, the AP reports. The ban was first approved in 1998, has been renewed twice since, and was to expire tomorrow. Both houses of Congress supported a permanent ban, but worries over the bill's effect on state and local governments forced a compromise.
The bill also contains language that prevents state and local governments from taxing email or instant-messaging services "that are provided independently or not packaged with Internet access," the AP reports. The provision exempts some states that passed taxes before the original ban was signed into law.