Cndnsd Vrsn: 4 PM *Wednesday* 7/16 ACS Room 123- Internet Taxes
The next meeting of the Front Range UNIX Users
Group (FRUUG) will be held at 4:00 P.M. on Wednesday, July 16.
This meeing is to inform our members
about the City of Boulder's initiative to tax Internet
access, and how it may affect you.
We'll have a brief overview of what Internet access is,
distinct from other taxable telecommunications services,
and what the difference is between access and bandwidth.
This overview will be followed with brief presentations
on the issue:
Julie DiBiase, Executive Director of the Colorado Internet
Cooperative Association, will talk about how taxing Internet
Access affects local ISPs and businesses.
Sara Bayko, Finberg Law Firm, will address the legalities
of taxing local Internet access in light of both
state and federal Internet Tax Freedom Acts (ITFA).
Laura Fisher, Lead Auditor of the City of Boulder,
was invited to present their interpretation of the
city code that allows them to tax Internet access,
but city code prohibits her from making statements to
the public regarding any specific taxpayer or audit issue.
In lieu of appearing at this meeting,
Laura will give us an update on the issue once it
The City of Boulder has recently presented the
Colorado Internet Cooperative
with a bill of almost $171,000 for nine years of
back taxes on Internet access services. The City claims that the Coop must
pay tax not only on the fiber and copper that connects them to the
Internet (these were already paid), but also on the "taxable service"
provided in the form of bandwidth and circuit capacity. Any business
with Internet access would be liable for this tax, though the City
has said it does not apply to individuals.
The Coop claims that this tax is superceded by both state and federal
laws that prohibit new taxes on Internet access, and most recently
Douglas Bruce, author of the TABOR amendment to the state
constitution, has chimed in to say that his amendment makes it
illegal to change taxation policy to begin taxing something that in
the past has not been taxed. The City claims that it has been
collecting this tax for some time, however other local ISPs
dispute that claim.
Some observers think that even if the tax is legal, it just hurts
local businesses, incenting them to move outside the city or face
higher costs than their competition.
A timeline of this issue and a collection of articles from
Boulder's Daily Camera, the Rocky Mountain News, and the Denver
Post are posted on their site at:
The City of Boulder's Sales and
Use Tax code is at
This meeting will be in room 123 of the CU Academic Computing
Center building at Arapahoe and Marine Streets in Boulder. Marine St intersects
Arapahoe at 38th St; the Computing Center is on the southwest corner.
At our June meeting,
Marc Rochkind presented the first FRUUG meeting with the word
"UNIX" in the title in five years, and it was a back-to-the-basics
talk discussing the UNIX API, what's happened to it over the
last few decades, and why (including multiple conspiracy theories).
Marc was kind enough to hand out a crib sheet listing all of
the relevant URLs mentioned in his slides, and they are:
Announcements, presentation slides, and
writeups for past meetings are be available in the FRUUG Meeting Archive?
Plan on a break for the month of August, and hopefully
we'll have a good set of fall meetings lined up.
FRUUG Library Merit Badge
holders can sign up for give-away books by visiting the
FRUUG Web site and clicking on the give-away item in the sidebar.
FRUUG merit badge holders are eligible for our frequent
book give-aways, and all you have to do for a lifetime
membership is to review any book from the FRUUG library
and send the review to gaede at fruug.org.
Last month Prentice Hall PTR sent us copies of UNIX Systems Programming
by Kay A. and Steven Robbins to give away at our UNIX-related meeting,
but unfortunately they arrived one day too late.
So this month we have two copies of this title to give away.
If you're a FRUUG Library Merit Badge holder and would like
one of the books, please sign up at
Finally, we once again have a
Gift Certificate to SoftPro Books
to give away to a FRUUG member
at the meeting.
The new books arriving in the FRUUG library this month
- Code Reading, the Open Source Perspective,
- Complete Wireless Home Networking,
from Prentice Hall PTR
- Essential CVS,
- Internet Site Security,
from Addison Wesley
- The MacOS X Conversion Kit,
from Peachpit Press
- UNIX Systems Programming,
from Prentice Hall PTR
You may check out books using your business card as your
library card; you must be on the membership list to check books out. Books
are due at the meeting following the one in which they are checked out.
Remember that your FRUUG membership entitles you to discounts
on your book orders from both New Riders Publishing and O'Reilly &
Associates; refer to the FRUUG Web site for details.
The New Riders discount program has changed; pick up a
discount coupon with our secret password at the meeting.