State Sen. Withdraws Porn Tax Bill Temporarily

State Sen. Withdraws Porn Tax Bill Temporarily
Michael Hayes
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A state senator who proposed a tax on pornography to help cut the sales tax on food has withdrawn his bill for now, saying that more research is required before the measure is put to a vote.

Sen. Dewayne Bunch, who had proposed the bill earlier, said he needed to do more research to become familiar with the taxation effects of the legislation before it works its way through various Senate committees.

The original plan called for a 25 percent tax on all adult video stores, escort services, adult movie rental, pay-per-view cable and satellite subscriptions and books and magazines.

The bill also called for a $400 annual occupational privilege tax on all adult cabaret performers.

Bunch insisted that the setback was temporary, adding that he plans to reintroduce the Senate version of the bill as soon as he can do more research.

According to legislative estimates, the sales tax on groceries accounts for $450 million per year in revenue for the state.

When the bill was introduced in January, Dr. Stan Chervin, who serves as a senior research associate for the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, said a tax on adult entertainment wouldn’t generate enough revenue to allow lawmakers to repeal the tax on food.

State Rep. Stacey Campfield is co-sponsoring the bill in the House.