CHARLOTTE, NC -- Scott Coffman, founder and CEO of video-on-demand giant AEBN, has proposed a task force to study the impact of Internet business on the economy.
Attacking the New York State proposal to tax e-commerce, Coffman called for a coalition of online industry executives to recommend ways to help create more jobs and provide economic stimulus.
"Innovation, initiative and reach, the hallmarks of successful online businesses, should be encouraged," he said. "The tax proposals being advanced by New York's Governor Paterson are counterproductive. Government needs to take a positive approach that will leverage the enormous potential of e-commerce to help turn the economy around. Together we can develop worthwhile approaches that will make more sense."
The New York proposal would place a 4 percent sales tax on all paid digital downloads for any retailer doing business in the state. Subscription services charging a monthly fee for content, such as numerous adult sites, would also fall under the new tax.
"Internet companies already pay their fair share of business tax," Coffman said. "Don't think for a minute that this is simply a tax on business. It's naïve to think that the burden of these proposed taxes would be quickly passed on to the consumer. Then there's the fact that it would be immensely difficult to police, given that Internet services can emanate from anywhere."
Coffman plans to reach out to fellow Web content executives for an initial meeting. The task force will look for ways to encourage further Internet purchases of goods, services, information and entertainment.
"This will put more people to work, many of them in well-paying jobs with a future," Coffman said.
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