Democrats and other leftists around the globe have never hidden they love to tax any and everything. Bottled water was proposed, coffee, alcohol, tobacco, gasoline, even babies have been subjected to proposals for tax. But a tax on Pornography?
Yes, Pornography, the scourge of the religious and sanctimonious among us, is the latest to fall under a Democrats proposal to raise needed revenue to make up budget shortfalls in California. California Assemblyman Charles Calderon, Democrat from Montebello has proposed a 25% tax be placed on the “gross revenues from the sale of pornographic magazines, photos, books, films and videotapes, and on the gross earnings of live sexually explicit entertainment and pay-per-view pornography provided to hotel guests.”
Calderon’s AB 2914 is estimated to produce an extra $665 million a year for the cash strapped state buried in entitlements. Assemblyman Calderon said, “AB 2914 would tax adult entertainment and adult entertainment venues in a manner similar to the way in which cigarettes and alcohol are already taxed in this state. This measure would tax adult entertainment in a comparable manner, with the intent to use the funds to address the various secondary effects associated with the production and consumption of adult entertainment. The secondary effects of production are especially noteworthy as California is the capital of the adult entertainment industry in the United States.”
“Secondary effects” include testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, health care and mental health treatment as well as law enforcement efforts at combating it.
Calderon also claims the bill makes no moral judgment on the states lucrative pornography business, estimated earning some $3.5 billion a year, “it merely asks the industry to help mitigate some of its ancillary effects in the state that is its production capital.”
Fellow Democrat, Cathleen Galgiani of Livingston, has signed on as a Chief Co-sponsor of the bill.
Ex-Porn Star, Shelley Lubben, who supports the bill and campaigns on its behalf through a group known as Pink Cross says, “[The] tax is justified because of the ill effects porn has on performers and consumers. Everything from addiction to drugs or sex itself, assault, disease, rape and prostitution can be counted as side effects of the industry.”
Opponents feel it would drive porn jobs out of the state or cause a drastic drop in revenues from reduced sales. Some have even brought up the possibility of the measure being unconstitutional, with legal opinions on the measure’s content currently mixed.
State Republicans have indicated they would oppose the measure because it is a tax increase, leaving the measure short of the 2/3 majority needed to pass the measure and impose the tax.
After a hearing earlier in the month the bill has been placed in the “suspense file,” leaving it able to be retrieved at a later date, or dead for this legislative session.
This writer has always maintained that Democrats would tax your ass if given the chance. California Democrat Charles Calderon proves they indeed would.