Panel Asks Congress for Funds to Study Internet Taxation

In order to seek funds to finance a study on Internet taxation, the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce, a panel appointed by Congress, is returning to its creator to ask for $2 million to finance the project.

The 19-member Commission has raised the eyebrows of such high-profile companies as America Online, AT&T, Time Warner and other businesses who believe the Panel's recommendations may affect their bottom line by shaping e-commerce and related Internet policies.

Comprised of corporate and government officials, the panel estimates it will need nearly all of the requested $2 million to complete the study by mid-April of next year. The primary reason the panel requested funding is that the group has been unsuccessful so far in securing corporate donations to fund the project; businesses who were asked to contribute $150,000 each for the project turned the panel down.

In addition, the panel also has been cognizant that it not be dominated by corporate influence, making it even more difficult to raise needed funds. David Pottruck, a panel member and president of Charles Schwab, said that the panel did not want it to seem as if companies were trying to influence the recommendations.

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