How many of you live with email? I don’t tweet, but I sure do email. Working from home, most of my communication with colleagues in other states is done via email. On average, I send out between 20-40 emails a day, 6 days a week. I know people who send out a lot more emails every day than I do and wonder what they would do if a tax was imposed on them.
A Berkeley city councilman by the name of Gordon Wozniak has proposed placing a tax on emails. He claims that his purpose is to cut down on the number of spam and junk emails sent by scammers. His suggestion would be to charge a penny per gigabit of sent emails which equates to 1¢ per 125 MB of sent email. Some or all of the funds would go to the US Postal Service to help keep them afloat.
Commenting on his proposal, Wozniak stated:
“There should be something like a bit tax … [it] could be a cent per gigabit and they would make, probably, billions of dollars a year.”
I took a look at my last weeks of sent emails and the most I sent out in any one day was just under 5 MB, so it might take me a whole month rack up 1¢ worth of email tax. That doesn’t sound that bad, but what really bothers me is that would give the government a legitimate excuse to monitor everyone’s emails. I know the feds do it already and in most cases the constitutionality of that monitoring is highly questionable.
The last thing we need is more government intrusion into our private and business lives. It’s none of their business what I write to my elderly parents, my sister, best friend or my boss. This is the reason I would fight any measure to impose a tax on emails.