E-mail Postage Taxes ?

Timothy Gebhart tbgebhar at tri-techceg.com
Fri May 28 15:05:39 GMT 1999

Subject:  I'm forwarding this to all Email users

Please read the following carefully if you intend to stay online
and continue using email:

            The last few months have revealed an alarming trend in the
Government of the United States attempting to quietly push through
legislation that will affect your use of the Internet. Under proposed
legislation the U.S. Postal Service will be attempting to bilk email users
out of "alternate postage fees". Bill 602P will permit the Federal Govt. to
charge a 5 cent surcharge on every email delivered, by billing Internet
Service Providers at source. The consumer would then be billed in turn by
the ISP. Washington D.C. lawyer Richard Stepp is working without pay to
prevent this legislation from becoming law. The U.S. Postal Service is
claiming that lost revenue due to the
proliferation of email is costing nearly $230,000,000 in revenue per year.
You may have noticed their recent ad campaign "There is nothing like a
letter". Since the average citizen received about
10 pieces of email per day in 1998, the cost to the typical individual would
be an additional 50 cents per day, or over $180 dollars per year, above and
beyond their regular Internet costs.
Note that this would be money paid directly to the U.S. Postal Service for a
service they do not even provide. The whole point of the Internet is
democracy and non-interference. If the
Federal government is permitted to tamper with our liberties by adding a
surcharge to email, who knows where it will end. You are already paying an
exorbitant price for snail mail because of bureaucratic efficiency. It
currently takes up to 6 days for a letter to be delivered from New York to
Buffalo. If the U.S. Postal Service is allowed to tinker with email, it will
mark the end of the "free"
Internet in the United States. One congressman, Tony Schnell (R) has even
suggested a "twenty to forty dollar per month surcharge on all Internet
service" above and beyond the government's
proposed email charges. Note that most of the major newspapers have ignored
the story, the only exception being the Washingtonian which called the idea
of email surcharge "a useful
concept who's time has come" March 6th 1999 Editorial) Don't sit by and
watch your freedoms erode away!

Send this email to all Americans on your list and tell your friends and
relatives to write to their congressman and say "No!" to Bill 602P.

Kate Turner Assistant to Richard Stepp, Berger, Stepp and Gorman
at Law 216 Concorde Street, Vienna, Va.

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