FSC: Calif. Adult Industry Tax Bill Amended for the Worse

SACRAMENTO — Amendments to California Assembly Bill 1551 were released Monday, and according to the FSC the changes only strengthened the FSC’s opposition to the measure.

“This whole thing is just so absurd, we simply must kill this bill while it is still in front of the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee,” FSC Executive Director Diane Duke told XBIZ. “The good news is that these amendments make it even easier for us to fight the bill, because they’re just so outrageous.”

The bill, sponsored by Assembly Member Charles Calderon, D-Whittier, proposes a tax on all adult entertainment businesses in California, based on claims that adult entertainment venues cause negative secondary effects.

Among the new stipulations, the amendments announced Monday sets the tax at 8 percent of gross revenues, adds in satellite TV providers, specifies that the tax of pay-per-view purchasers is to be collected by hotel owners or operators, and establishes a new tax collection agency.

The provisions making it clear that the new tax also would affect hotels could create a potent new ally for the FSC in their fight against the bill, Duke said.

“Obviously [the hospitality industry] will be concerned about this bill as well,” Duke said.

Duke said that should the bill pass, the negative impact on the adult industry would be severe and profound, and would create a ripple effect that goes well beyond the California-based adult industry.

“This tax will not only devastate the adult entertainment industry, but also severely affect vendors that support the industry, hotels and cable networks as well,” Duke said. “I find it ironic that in 2007, when California Republicans have signed a contract agreeing to no new taxes, Calderon is proposing a devastating new tax that creates an additional tax-collection agency, with the accompanying costs of new bureaucracy.”

The FSC is calling on members of the adult industry and industry-support professionals to attend a hearing on July 9 and express their opposition to the legislation. The hearing will 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 hearing schedule is subject to change; call the Free Speech Coalition at (818) 348-9373 for the latest information.