Should Government Tax Your Email?

Published 03/27 2013 10:05AM

Updated 03/27 2013 10:08AM

Your property is taxed. Your income is taxed. Your investments are taxed. 

But ... your email?

A California official is bringing new life to the argument that the Internet -- including emails -- is an untapped revenue resource that should be taxed to help local economies. 
Berkeley City Councilman Gordon Wozniak brought up taxing emails during a recent council meeting. He suggested the money collected, which would be part of a wider-reaching Internet tax, could be used in Berkeley's case to save the local post office. 

"There should be something like a bit tax," he said during the March 5 meeting. "I mean, a bit tax could be a cent per gigabit and they would make, probably, billions of dollars a year." 

Plus, he said, there should be a "very tiny tax on email." 

This idea goes beyond already-controversial proposals to tax e-commerce -- like buying used books on Amazon. This would be a tax on data. 

Wozniak told the response to the idea has been varied. 

"Most people don't like the idea of taxing the Internet," he acknowledged. "There are a number of people who say it's a good idea, but some are saying it's impractical and there's no way to do it." 

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