Tax proposal would cover most common adult vices

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Alabama Today has learned that Rep. Jack Williams is looking into a way to restructure state statutes that govern materials deemed for adult consumption only, such as alcohol and tobacco, to include pornography and institute a tax on them going into the Special Session on budget.

It’s not possible to tax pornography individually since such material can’t be taxed based on content. However, a restructuring of materials for adult consumption would allow one tax in statute for anything that requires proof of being older than 18.

NBC News last year reported on the profitability of pornographic materials, “Globally, porn is a $97 billion industry,” according to Kassia Wosick, assistant professor of sociology at New Mexico State University. Between $10 billion and $12 billion of that comes from the United States. Revenue from traditional porn films has been shrinking, though, because of piracy and an abundance of free content on the Internet.

Williams said he’s “Not willing to tax Pepsi if I’m not going to tax Playboy and Penthouse, too,” a reference to another tax proposal that is being discussed.

Whether such a proposal will make it and how other members would support it remains to be seen.

Alabama Today will continue to add updates to this proposal and others as they’re floated and introduced.

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