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July 2003 Newsletter of the
Front Range UNIX Users Group

Cndnsd Vrsn: 4 PM *Wednesday* 7/16 ACS Room 123- Internet Taxes


Taxes on Internet Access

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 is resolved.


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The Coop claims that this tax is superceded by both state and federal laws that prohibit new taxes on Internet access, and most recently Douglas Bruce, author of the TABOR amendment to the state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

Meeting Location

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.

See <> for map

Our Last Meeting

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?

Future Meetings

Plan on a break for the month of August, and hopefully we'll have a good set of fall meetings lined up.

FRUUG Giveaways

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

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.

FRUUG Library Notes

The new books arriving in the FRUUG library this month include:

  • Code Reading, the Open Source Perspective, from Addison-Wesley
  • Complete Wireless Home Networking, from Prentice Hall PTR
  • Essential CVS, from O'Reilly
  • 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.

Site Map Recruiter Info
February 15, 2009

February 2008: FRUUG Enters Quiescent Phase
After 27 years running, we're suspending operations.

Future Meetings:
None planned

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