Berkeley Councilman Proposes Email Tax To Save Post Office


If the post office is going to go down, perhaps it should at least go down with a fight.

Gordon Wozniak, a city councilman in Berkeley, Calif., has proposed an email tax to provide much-needed revenue to the ailing U.S. Postal Service, local blog Berkleyside reports. The idea comes amid efforts to avoid the sale of a local post office building due to the service’s flagging revenue, both locally and on the national scale: In its latest budget year, the U.S. Postal Service lost more than $15 billion.

“There should be something like a bit tax,” Wozniak said, according to CBS Berkeley. “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.”

Wozniak told The Huffington Post that while not his own idea, the bit tax could bring in revenue to help a number of sectors, beyond just the post office.

"The internet being free gives it an advantage which is impacting the post office negatively," he said. "The bit tax is a pretty painless way to help even the playing field."

Wozniak’s proposal comes amid many other ideas to aid the Postal Service’s woes. The Postal Service itself has proposed ending Saturday delivery, while other options include ramping up junk mail delivery, advertising on the side of mail trucks and even a new clothing line.

As of now, there is one large factor standing in the way of the tax on email: It wouldn’t be legal until Congress allows the expiration of the Internet Tax Freedom Act in 2014.

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