NW group forms to protect tech consumers, business.

Seattle, WA: Today several regional organizations announced the formation of the Pacific Technology Alliance (PacTech).  “PacTech is a grassroots, technology association that will be active in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Hawaii” said Tom Gurr, PacTech’s Executive Director.  “PacTech is working to keep consumers and policy-makers educated and informed about the major emerging communications and technology-related issues that impact consumer’s lives” Gurr continued.

PacTech’s Board of Directors includes members of / officials with the Taxpayer Association of Oregon, the US Chamber of Commerce, Women Impacting Public Policy and PhRMA.  Other members included the Washington Chapter of the NFIB, the Washington State Farm Bureau and AT&T.

Over the last few months PacTech has been active on several issues including supporting the Internet Tax Moratorium (which Congress extended by seven years in 2007) and opposing several cities’ attempts to impose municipal taxes on cellular consumers, currently an ongoing issue in several Oregon communities.  In the constantly-changing technology environment PacTech’ priority is to keep a watchful eye on the impact of issues like these while keeping consumers informed and engaged.

“It is also a top priority for PacTech to support more choices and greater access to information and technology for all consumers, that’s why we are promoting greater urban and rural broadband deployment.  It’s clear that the future of local economies, the success of educational institutions and even the environment rests heavily on the comprehensive deployment of high-speed internet access.  Study after study demonstrates that robust broadband networks provide both new opportunities and critical infrastructure that businesses and consumers need to thrive.  And given the massive growth of bandwidth-intensive content coming online every day we must be proactive to ensure vigorous networks that meet growing demand” Gurr stated.

Currently PacTech is opposing the efforts of several Oregon cities to impose municipal taxes on cellular phone service, and is actively recruiting Oregon consumers to join in opposing the attempts of several cities  including Coos Bay, Newberg and North Plains (among others) to levy municipal taxes on cellular phone service.

“Amazing growth and competition in the wireless industry has increased its availability and affordability for all consumers. Taxing technology represents a major setback for all consumers and will only slow that progress.  It is our intention at PacTech to keep consumers informed and engaged on critical issues like these and to we will work to keep technology free of government impediments” Gurr concluded.

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