Small Cities Join Fight on Internet Taxation

Article excerpt

Local officials from the nation's smaller communities raised their voices in unison through NLC's Small Cities Council (SCC) to oppose passage of the Internet Tax Freedom Act.

A resolution adopted by the SCC during the Congressional City Conference emphasized concerns about "Main Street" retail merchants' ability to compete with mail order and Internet companies as well as the effects on state and local governments' ability to continue providing services to citizens if the Internet Tax Freedom Act is passed.

"The impact of this Act's passage on small communities would be devastating both because of the lost revenue and the risk to small businesses," said Mayor Jerry Dunn of Benbrook, Tex., who proposed the resolution. Mayor Dunn is first vice chair of the SCC and a member of the NLC Board of Directors.

SCC Chair Tommy Swaim, Mayor of Jacksonville, Ark., noted that while significant progress on the issue was made at the Congressional City Conference by calling attention to the impact the Act could have on all cities and towns, quick follow-up by as many people as possible is crucial to avoid losing momentum.

"The strength of small cities is in our numbers." said Swaim. "Keep the pressure on by calling your Congressional delegation and faxing them a copy of the resolution," he urged.

Adoption of the SCC resolution was announced by NLC First Vice President Clarence Anthony and was made available to all conference delegates during a Monday morning general session. The resolution also is being mailed to members of the Small Cities Council.

Other Conference Activities

In other business during its Sunday afternoon meeting at the Congressional City Conference, the SCC heard reports from small city representatives on each of NLC's policy committees.

Reporting members who outlined priority issues for the coming policy year were: Lou Ogden, mayor, Tualatin, Ore. (Transportation & Communications); Ross Ferraro, mayor, Carol Stream, Ill. (Public Safety & Crime Prevention); Jewell Emswiller, councilmember, Leesburg, Va. …