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House backs permanent ban on Internet access taxes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to ban permanently taxes on Internet access, a prohibition that is now temporary and is set to expire in 16 weeks.

In a move opposed by some Democrats and state and local governments, the House approved a bill to bar permanently state and local governments from enacting Internet connection taxes.

The approval came on a voice vote, sending the legislation next to the Senate, where it also has bipartisan support.

The bill does not involve state sales taxes on online shopping purchases, which is a different issue. Rather, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act deals with Internet access.

Congress in 1998 approved a temporary moratorium on state and local governments imposing any new taxes on Internet connections. This ban has been extended three times, most recently in 2007, but is set to expire on Nov. 1.

(Reporting by Kevin Drawbaugh; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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