Berkeley City Council Member Suggests Tax on E-Mail to Save Post Office

Of course it was in Berkeley


Earlier this week, readers reacted with skepticism after Berkeley City Councilman Gordon Wozniak suggested that taxing email might be one way to raise money for the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service.

Wozniak told the council: "There should be something like a bit tax. I mean a bit tax could be a cent per gigabit and they would still make, probably, billions of dollars a year… And there should be, also, a very tiny tax on email," perhaps one-hundredth of a cent. He said this would discourage spam and not have much impact on the typical Internet user. Wozniak went on to suggest a sales tax on internet transactions that could help, in part, fund "vital functions that the post office serves."

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  1. “vital functions that the post office serves.”
    Yep, if I didn’t get that bushel of pulp ads per week, I just don’t know what I’d do.

  2. “Most of the revenue raised could be used to fund the managing and maintaining the Internet Superhighway[…]. Think of it as analogous to the gas tax used to maintain our physical highways.”

    Not sure he actually knows what the Internet is.

    In any case: good luck with that.

  3. I got an idea! Why don’t we tax snail mail to fund rural access to the internet!

    Or we could tax politicians by the syllable to pay for global warming defenses.

  4. “. . .and not have much impact on the typical Internet user. ”

    Except eliminate all the ad supported free-email providers and reduce access to email services to those who can and are willing to cough up a credit card number.

  5. I know this is Berkeley, where the normal rules of common sense don’t apply, but I just can’t help but wonder at the audacity of taxing people outside their boundaries for the purpose of supporting an agency that is 99.97% outside of their boundaries.

    1. Yes of course I realize that this is just one guy, and he’s probably (I hope) expressing his general opinion on national taxes (they’re not high enough), but it’s still crazy that the city council even discussed something so far removed from their sphere of authority.

      1. This is Berkeley, where the candidates’ position on the Cuban embargo matters.

    2. Let’s balance the budget by taxing foreigners living abroad.

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