August 19, 2009 By Wayne Hanson
Next month, if someone books a hotel room in New York City over the Internet, the travel site will have to pay a 20 percent tax on service fees in addition to the normal taxes and fees on business booked by telephone, according to NetChoice, a Washington D.C.-based coalition of trade associations and eCommerce businesses. And the Maine State Legislature passed a law requiring "verifiable parental consent" before collecting personal information from teenagers. According to NetChoice that law would force Web sites to stop providing college information, test preparation services and class rings, since sites lack the means to obtain verifiable consent.
"The Internet is increasingly under attack as lawmakers seek to mandate technological behaviors, impose new taxes and otherwise restrict the free flow of information and commerce online," said Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice in a release. The group has compiled a top 10 list of "ugly laws" that include:
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.