Net Tax Commission Gets Down to Business

Thirteen members of the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce that will set the pace for government taxation of the Internet are poised to come together next month in Williamsburg, Va., at the College of William and Mary to grapple with key e-commerce and tax policy issues.

Details of the June 21-22 meeting were announced today after months of controversy, complaints and a lawsuit charging under-representation of local government interests. Specifically, the two-day session will feature a series of presentations from high-level industry and congressional leaders and administration officials that will try to capture the vision of the Internet and the competitive advantages it holds.

The meeting also will give members a chance to divide into small groups and interact on key issues. Other agenda items include the appointment of a commission chairperson. Virginia Gov. James Gilmore (R) has assumed a leadership role in moving the commission forward and is expected to be named chairman, especially because he is the favored choice of industry representatives on the panel.

"The meeting will be a chance to get agreement on the objectives [of the commission], agreement on the issues and establish a plan to move forward addressing them," said Don Upson, Virginia's Secretary of Technology.

Gilmore recently called every member of the commission to get their input on key topics to address at the meeting, Upson said. "Gov. Gilmore is emphatic about not arguing over issues. He wants to design a process that will accommodate points of viewand seeks input from experts from a number of fields," Upson said, adding that the commission and its work will not be about protecting turf but about fashioning solutions.

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