Italy Follows Kansas’ Lead, Proposes Porn Tax

December 14, 2005

Italy is apparently following the lead of the State of Kansas, proposing to levy a tax exclusively on the profits of pornographic businesses. See previous posts here and here on the infamous Kansas porn tax.

Italy’s government plans to use money raised from a new pornography tax to finance ways of encouraging Italians to have more children, according to the latest draft of the 2006 budget.

According to details of the proposal, submitted to parliament on Tuesday, by Daniela Santanche’ of the post-Fascist National Alliance party, pornographic industry operators would face an additional tax of 25 percent on their incomes.

“The (porn) tax is important not for moralistic reasons, but because it is right to tax non-essential products at a time in which families are facing difficult economic conditions,” Santache’ told reporters. (Full story here.)

Besides being economically non-neutral, the proposed porn tax is doubly bad because it seeks to employ the tax code to promote specific social goals desired by lawmakers rather than raising revenue for necessary government programs. It may be that Italy needs a program to encourage child birth, but is the tax system really the appropriate vehicle for pushing this particular social policy?


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