Calif. Legislators to Hear Adult Industry Tax Bill

Q Boyer
CANOGA PARK, Calif. — The FSC today announced that Assembly Bill 1551, a bill that would impose a tax on all California-based adult companies to ameliorate supposed “secondary effects," will be heard Monday, July 9, by the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee.

The FSC, formally known as the Free Speech Coalition, asserted that the claims of the legislation’s supporters concerning negative secondary effects caused by adult businesses are baseless.

“Our Legislative Records Act request revealed that the author had no evidence whatsoever to support the claims of adverse secondary effects in his legislation,” FSC state lobbyist Matt Gray said.

The amount of the proposed tax is undetermined at this time, but the FSC said that the tax would “occur multiple times on the same product, both while in inventory and at the time of sale,” and that every time the same item changes hands, the tax would again be collected.

FSC Executive Director Diane Duke told XBIZ that the legislation was one of the primary targets of FSC lobbying during Free Speech Lobbying Day in April of this year, and “now it is time to put the connections we made then to work.”

“We’d like to kill this bill in committee,” Duke said. “This is [state assemblyman and bill author Charles] Calderon’s committee, so we’d really like to defeat it there.”

This is not the first time Calderon, D-Whittier, has proposed taxing the adult industry; according to Duke, Calderon’s previous attempt to pass such a tax “went down in flames.”

“He didn’t get a single vote,” Duke said of Calderon’s 1999 bid to tax California’s adult businesses, an effort Calderon undertook when he was a state senator. “We have no idea why he would want to try this again.”

While the bill would only result in the direct taxation of adult companies in California, Duke said that the effects of the tax would be felt across the industry, and would set a bad precedent for other states to follow.

“If it happens in California, it will pave the way for it happening elsewhere,” Duke said. “This is dangerous for the country.”

Currently, the hearing is scheduled to take place at the State Capitol building in Sacramento, before the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee at 1:30 p.m. in Room 126. The FSC urged that people double-check the schedule as it is subject to change.

Duke called on members of the adult industry to show support for the FSC’s lobbying efforts. Duke said that letters to Assembly members, Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, and Mike Feuer, D-West Hollywood, in particular, would be most helpful.

“We feel certain we can defeat this,” Duke said, “And a show of support from the industry would help a lot.”

For more information on the legislation and the FSC’s lobbying efforts against it, call the FSC at (818) 348-9373.