Can a porn tax boost CA's economy?

April 21, 2008 9:15:51 PM PDT
Lawmakers in Sacramento are looking at all sorts of ways to bring in revenue for our cash strapped state. The latest proposal is a porn tax in the adult entertainment industry. X-rated film makers to strip club owners would have to pay an extra percentage of their earnings to the state.

California's $4 billion dollar adult entertainment industry is up in arms over a new state proposal it feels is unfairly singling them out. Owners of strip clubs, online porn sites and stores would have to pay an additional 8% on gross receipts.

"I don't think that's very fair at all because there's nothing wrong with what I'm doing. And there's nothing wrong with the adult industry," says adult film actress Mary Carey.

But Assemblyman Charles Calderon says there is something wrong with the porn industry. The workers don't usually have a long career and California taxpayers end up footing the bill at time when the state is broke.

"When they come out, they come out with no skills. They come out unemployed. Many come out addicted. If they go on unemployment or on welfare or Medi-Cal, that's a cost to the state." says Assemblyman Charles Calderon, (D) Los Angeles.

San Fernando Valley would be hit the hardest because that's where almost all American porn flicks are made. The new tax could bring about $500 million dollars a year. Assemblyman Calderon may even re-write the proposal this week to boost the tax to 25%.

College students who were lobbying at the Capitol today to push for fewer education cuts want any way to boost state coffers, even if the money came from a questionable source.

"When you're going for a greater cause, it doesn't matter where you get the funds, as long as it's a legal source of funding and it's going to improve the future and the economy," says college student Bridgette Dussan.

Previous attempts for a special tax on the adult entertainment industry have failed. This version gets its first committee hearing in two weeks.


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