Sacramento just got an influx of exotic dancers recently. No, Hugh Hefner didn't move the Playboy Mansion; the girls were there protesting a new tax increase threatening to devastate the adult film and entertainment industries.
A Southern Californian assemblyman has proposed a 25 percent tax of gross revenues on producers and distributors of adult material. This will include tariffs on not only videos, but also strip clubs, magazines, and cable television. The sponsors of the bill believe that the adult industry “deserves it” since they're a prime cause of sexually transmitted diseases and create a species of men who become so addicted to online sex that they lose their jobs and then live off of the state’s programs. At $4 billion of revenue a year, it's not exactly a bunch of singles stuffed into the state's garter. To see who's not into it, read more.
The bill is drawing a great deal of criticism by a group of strange bedfellows. Exotic dancers, pornographic producers, the state Chamber of Commerce and Republican lawmakers are coming together in defeating what one of the Republican lawmakers has declared “a clear violation of the First Amendment.”
It also raises the question once more of “what is pornography?” What if movies with an NC-17 rating are also taxed because they are deemed pornographic, or comic books with adult content? Do you think pornography (whatever that is?) should be taxed into submission? Is it a perfect way for a state to raise funds?