Nav Bar Press Room
Nav Bar

Press Release


The Honorable James S. Gilmore, III
Commonwealth of Virginia


Mr. Dean F. Andal
California Board of Equalization

Mr. C. Michael Armstrong
Chairman and CEO,

Mr. Joseph H. Guttentag
Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy
U.S. Department of the Treasury

The Honorable Paul C. Harris Sr. Delegate
Virginia House of Delegates

The Honorable Delna Jones
Washington County, Oregon

The Honorable Ron Kirk
City of Dallas

The Honorable Michael O. Leavitt
State of Utah

Mr. Gene N. Lebrun
President (1997-1999)
National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws

The Honorable Gary Locke
State of Washington

Mr. Grover Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform

Mr. Robert Novick
General Counsel
U.S. Trade Representative

Mr. Richard Parsons
Time Warner, Inc.

Mr. Andrew Pincus
General Counsel
U.S. Department of Commerce

Mr. Robert Pittman
President & Chief Operating Officer
America Online

Mr. David Pottruck
President & co-Chief Executive Officer
Charles Schwab and Company

Mr. John W. Sidgmore
Vice Chairman
MCI WorldCom and Chairman UUNET

Mr. Stanley Sokul
Independent Consultant
Association for Interactive Media

Mr. Theodore Waitt
Gateway, Inc.

Press Contact:
Mark A. Miner
Stephen W.T. O'Keeffe
Press Secretary, Office of the Governor of Virginia
O'Keeffe & Company, Inc.
(804) 692-3110
(703) 883-9000 ext. 111

For Immediate Release
June 22, 1999

Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce Lays Foundation for Balanced Debate in Williamsburg

-Packed Meeting Witnesses Inclusive Debate as Members Review All Sides of Internet Tax Issue-

Williamsburg, VA- Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore, chairman of the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce, a 19-member Congressional advisory panel charged with examining the effects of taxes, tariffs, and bureaucracy on the future of electronic commerce, today announced the success of the Commission's first meeting. Pointing to discussions that presented the full spectrum of views and issues associated with electronic commerce, Gilmore declared the meeting a critical foundation for building consensus.

"The Commission's 18-month charter has just 10 months left to deliver its recommendations to Congress," said Governor Gilmore. "We have much work to do, especially considering the breadth of the issues that must be weighed. We consider these Williamsburg meetings successful. We have organized and established an open, fair discussion process to support our mission. As chairman, I commit that every member's point of view will be heard, valued, and considered. This process is vital to developing a consensus. Only with a consensus will Congress value our recommendations."

"In view of the fact that Oregon has no state sales tax, some may question our interest in the debate," said Delna Jones, county commissioner, Washington County, Hillsboro, Oregon. "This position allows us to review the broad tax policy question without selfish consideration. The Commission provides the right framework for this debate. I look forward to being a participant in the process."

"Gateway believes the Commission has an opportunity to provide to Congress recommendations that will make our tax system simpler and fairer for consumers and businesses," Theodore Waitt, chairman and chief executive officer, Gateway, Inc. "We support the growth of electronic commerce, and believe it should not be subject to discriminatory taxes. On sales taxes, we believe there should be a level playing field where all businesses and consumers play by the same rules."

Day two of the Williamsburg meeting featured comments from each of the 17 assembled Commission members. In addition, three members of the Commission delivered more in-depth presentations:

  • "Vision of the Internet" - John Sidgmore, vice chairman, MCI WorldCom and chairman, UUNET
  • "Implications of Electronic Commerce for U.S. Domestic Economy and U.S. International Competitiveness" - Andrew Pincus, general counsel, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • "Implications of Electronic Commerce for Global Economy, International Tax and Tariff Issues" - Joseph Guttentag, senior advisor for Tax Policy, U.S. Department of Treasury

This meeting in Williamsburg, Virginia, is the first of four scheduled events. The next meeting of the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce will be held in New York City, New York. Future meetings will take place in Silicon Valley, California, and Austin, Texas.

About the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce

Created by Congress in October 1998 as part of the Internet Tax Freedom Act, the 19-member Commission, has been charged with studying the impact of federal, state, local, and international taxation and tariffs on transactions using the Internet and Internet access. Central to the examination of these issues is the fact that the Internet knows no geographical boundaries, and, by its very nature, violates those geographical boundaries that hinder other forms of commerce. The commission is also expected to analyze the implications for personal privacy implicit in the taxation of Internet purchases. Recommendations are due in to Congress no later than April 21, 2000.

Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce members:

Gov. Jim Gilmore, Governor of Virginia, Richmond, VA - Chairman
Dean Andal, Chairman, Vice Chairman, California Board of Equalization, Stockton, CA
C. Michael Armstrong, Chairman of the Board & Chief Executive Officer, AT&T, New York, NY
Joseph Guttentag, Senior Advisor Office of Tax Policy, U.S. Department of the Treasure, (Official Designee for U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Robert E. Rubin) Washington, DC
Paul C. Harris Sr., Member, Virginia House of Delegates, Charlottesville, VA
Delna Jones, County Commissioner, Washington County, Hillsboro, OR
Mayor Ron Kirk, Mayor of Dallas, Dallas, TX
Gene Lebrun, President (1997-1999), National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, Rapid City, SD
Gov. Michael Leavitt, Governor of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Gov. Locke, Governor of Washington, Olympia, WA
Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform, Washington, DC
Robert Novick, General Counsel, U.S. Trade Representative, (Official Designee for U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky) Washington, DC
Richard Parsons, President, Time Warner, New York, NY
Andrew Pincus, General Counsel, U.S. Department of Commerce, (Official Designee for U.S. Secretary of Commerce William M. Daley) Washington, DC
Robert Pittman, President & Chief Operating Officer, America Online, Dulles, VA
David Pottruck, President & Co-Chief Executive Officer, Charles Schwab Corporation, San Francisco, CA
John Sidgmore, Vice Chairman, MCI WorldCom, Chairman, UUNET, Fairfax, VA
Stan Sokul, Independent Consultant, Association for Interactive Media, Washington, DC
Theodore Waitt, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Gateway, Inc., North Sioux City, SD

3401 North Fairfax Drive
Telephone: (703) 993-8049 · Facsimile: (703) 993-8250

The Commission | Press Room | Calendar/Meetings | Library
Home | Site Map | FAQs | Links