Bill would cut tax on employee computers
- By Brad Shewmake
- Apr 17, 2000
The House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee last week introduced
bipartisan legislation designed to increase computer use in the home and
encourage businesses to provide computers to their employees.
Called the Digital Divide Access to Technology Act (DATA), the legislation
comes at a time when President Clinton is campaigning to narrow the digital
divide — the gap between those who can afford technologies such as computers
and those who cannot.
"The DATA Act is a good first step in helping to address the digital divide,"
said Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia — one of two representatives
who introduced the act — in a congressional statement. "The DATA Act will
not ensure universal access...in all of our communities, but the DATA Act
helps to bring us a step closer to that goal."
The legislation lessens taxes on an employee's purchase of computer equipment
in hopes that more businesses will develop programs to offer workers' families
increased access to computers at home. A wide variety of such programs have
emerged at several industry leaders, such as Ford Motor Co., American Airlines,
Delta Air Lines and Intel Corp.
"The goal of the DATA Act is to create digital opportunity for millions
of American families by breaking down the barriers of the tax code so businesses
can provide access to these tools for their employees," said Rep. Jerry
Weller (R-Ill.) in the statement.
The act treats Internet access and the first $1,260 of the value of a computer
and its peripheral equipment and software as a working benefit not subject
to income tax.
"By enlisting employers in the battle to eliminate the digital divide, we
will help to better prepare our kids to compete in the new economy," Weller
- Story copyright IDG News Service. All rights reserved.