NACo, USCM Threaten to Enjoin E-Commerce Commission

The National Association of Counties and the U.S. Conference of Mayors have threatened to file a lawsuit to prevent the federal Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce from holding its first meeting.

NACo executive director Larry Naake and USCM executive director Tom Cochran said they would file a preliminary injunction to stop the commission from meeting unless the commission has an equal number of members from the business community and local government interests.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-Iowa), the two association executives said, "We urge you to consider the underrepresentation of local government. No county officials have been appointed. We urge to appoint at least one county official to the commission."

The commission, headed by Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore (R), was created to study how and whether to regulate the Internet and the emerging e-commerce industry. The commission, which plans to hold its first meeting June 21-22 in Williamsburg, Va., currently has a greater number of industry representatives than industry officials.

Local governments are particularly sensitive to the question of Internet taxation, and local politicians are opposed to the current three-year moratorium that prevents them from taxing Internet service providers and Internet commerce in their jurisdictions.

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