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Eye On Olympia

Another sin to tax: porn…

With Washington’s sin taxes pretty much maxxed out — we have among the highest tobacco and liquor taxes in America — one state lawmaker has a novel idea for a new source of state revenue: a tax on pornography.

In essence, the proposal would tax porn and use the money raised to provide health care and $339-a-month stipends to people deemed unemployable, often due to mental health issues. The aid program is called General Assistance (for the) Unemployable, or GA-U.

Rep Mark Miloscia’s House Bill 2103 would slap an 18.5 percent tax on “adult entertainment materials and services.”

What’s that mean? According to the bill, it’s things that “are primarily oriented to an interest in sex,” including magazines, photos, movies, videos, cable TV programs, “telephone services”, audio tapes, computer programs, “and paraphernalia.”

Books or magazines with no photos would be exempt. So would videos that don’t contain X-rated sex., according to the Motion Picture Association of America’s standards.



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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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