L.A. County Postpones Discussion on Adult Film Permit Fee Proposal

L.A. County Postpones Discussion on Adult Film Permit Fee Proposal
Rhett Pardon

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has decided to put on hold an agenda item that would have discussed creating a fee structure for adult film shoots.

The agenda item has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 22.

The Free Speech Coalition, which sent a formal letter, and individual adult industry stakeholders all complained that the agenda item relative to Measure B was only known about since Friday when the county released Tuesday's agenda.

The proposed fee structure, created by the Department of Public Health, would require adult film producers to pay $1,672 for a film permit.

The fee proposal also would allow charges of $65 per hour for re-inspections, which are made after noncompliance has been found in initial inspections to ensure corrective measures have been put into place.

The FSC, in its letter, complained that a new adult film permit fee schedule should be discussed with all stakeholders with adequate notice.

“This proposed permit structure, process, and pricing were produced without any knowledge of the adult entertainment industry, without engaging the true stakeholders, and without recognizing the evolution of the industry, prevention science, and regulatory processes,” said the FSC’s letter, authored by its executive director, Eric Paul Leue. “This is the hallmark of bad policy, and it puts our workers in harm’s way.”

The FSC noted that there are many questions that the Department of Public Health left unanswered in its proposal.

“Who would be expected to pull these permits? Most shoots in L.A. County are now webcam based, and performer-owned and produced, as most large studios moved production outside the county or state,” the FSC’s letter emphasized.

“Would single webcam performers, or married couples, be expected to pay for a permit? Since these permit fees are based on enforcement, while the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that the enforcement as proposed in the legislation is unconstitutional and permits must be revenue neutral, how were the permit fees calculated?

“Since the county does not know the number of the shoots in L.A. County, how were permit fees calculated? In the analysis, the department projects that one in four shoots will feature a complaint. How was this number determined?"  

In a statement today, Leue said he applauded the board’s decision to delay the meeting, but he expressed concern and frustration over the clandestine nature of this process.

“Public health policy should not be considered in secret, nor should stakeholders be blocked from participating,” Leue said. “Thanks to the letter, and the numerous phone calls and emails from performers, the board moved this important vote to better allow performers, producers, agencies and health experts to be heard.

“We thank all industry members that reacted to our ‘Action Alert’ and were present at the meeting, ready to give comment."

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