This one is also reprinted with the author’s permission. As soon as “The 8th Day” wraps i’ll go back to writing my own things again. You guys didn’t need me to paraphrase anyway….
“The infamous adult entertainment tax, Assembly Bill 2914 by Whittier Assemblyman Chuck Calderon, just died in Sacramento.
The proposed new law proposed taxing all adult nightclubs at a rate of 25% upon gross revenues, and then taxing all adult products and services at 8.3.% every time they were performed, changed hands, or were held in inventory (which was between 3 and 5 times per product). To any industry, such a large tax on top of all other taxes would be devastating, especially in this age of interstate and international competition, and the adult entertainment industry is no different.
After passing through the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee on Monday, a committee which is chaired by the bill’s author, and with the help of Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-North Hollywood), the bill was then set for hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee which is tasked with considering proposed new laws based upon their expected financial impact upon California. In the Appropriations Committee, policy discussions or discussions about whether or not the proposal would be a good idea, is irrelevant. The committee is only concerned with how much the proposed law will cost California.
Right now the California State Legislature in the final three weeks of its two-year Session and bills are on the fast track to get through the process and onto the Governor. While typically there are weeks or even months between committee hearings, this late in the game AB 2914 started picking up momentum and that meant there was only a narrow window of time left to kill it.
The state lobbying force for, and staff of, Association of Club Executives (ACE) of California, and Free Speech Coalition (FSC), worked extensively and in a short amount of time with the committee members and consultants to exorcise the truth from all of the propaganda that was being spread around by the bill’s author and proponents of AB 2914. With the realization that the piddly $260 million that AB 2914 was expected to bring in to the state coffers, the industry responded with an expected $3 billion mass exodus of the state’s adult businesses who would flee the state to more business friendly climates. Along with those businesses leaving, nearly 38,000 of the 50,000 adult entertainment jobs would leave Calfornia, too.
“Nevada welcomes California’s adult businesses,” read the caption below the three pictures of billboards from Las Vegas which openly solicit adult performers to sign-up and shoot. This, of course, chopped Assemblyman Calderon off at the knees with his claims that California was the only place that these businesses could shoot adult films. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words, and three pictures is apparently worth an entire committee’s votes.
When faced with the prospect of possibly gaining $260 million in taxes, or the likely loss of $3 billion in business presence, the committee’s choice was simple. Plus, the committee is filled with a variety of lawmakers who either deeply respect the constitution, recognize how difficult it is already for businesses to thrive in this state, and/or see a porn tax as an infringement upon freedom of choice to engage in adult entertainment. Appropriations Chair Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), and Assembly Member Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco), are owed the industry’s eternal gratitude for standing up against AB 2914.
Ten years ago Chuck Calderon made it a moral crusade as he introduced legislation against the industry. Last year he claimed it was a simple state budget iissue with AB 1551. This year he claimed the same with AB 2914. Three times in a row Mr. Calderon has struck out as his legislation has failed.
But will this stop him from trying again next year? Probably not.
This is why it is critical that whether you are a business, talent, or a consumer of adult products, that you are plugged into the industry’s advocacy network to keep you up to date on proposed laws, and to let you know the industry’s recommendation on political candidates to support who will in turn support your right to choose adult entertainment products and services.
You are under attack, and if you sit by and do nothing, who are you really helping?”