Members of the House Judiciary Committee approved, by a 30-4 margin, legislation on Tuesday that would extend permanently the current moratorium on Internet access taxes that is scheduled to expire on November 1. The Internet tax moratorium has been extended several times since its inception in 1998 and has been enforced in all but seven states that enacted Internet access taxes prior to the adoption of the federal moratorium. (It should be noted that the committee bill as well as pending Senate legislation that would also extend the access tax ban permanently have no impact on the ability of the states to collect sales taxes on product purchases conducted online.) In approving the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (H.R. 3086), the committee defeated an amendment, proposed by ranking committee member John Conyers (D-MI), that called for a temporary, four-year extension of the current moratorium and that also would have extended “grandfather” exemptions for the seven states—including Texas—that adopted access taxes before the moratorium took effect. The measure approved by the committee includes a provision that eliminates the grandfather exemption. Backers of that provision contend that the seven states in question have had more than sixteen years to transition to other sources of revenue. Highlighting the urgency of Congressional action in the face of the impending November 1 deadline, Conyers and his supporters succeeded in convincing other committee  members to withdraw amendments that would have added communications and airport car rental tax provisions to the  bill.  Observers anticipate that the measure will soon be reported to the full House for a vote. Cautioning that failure to extend the current Internet tax moratorium  “risks driving  up the  cost of  connectivity,” National Cable  &  Telecommunications Association President Michael Powell urged lawmakers “to quickly pass this important legislation so that American consumers and businesses will continue to be protected from any additional taxes and fees that could raise the price of Internet access and slow the rapid adoption of broadband services.”