The Kansas Porn Tax

July 18, 2005

Due to the Kansas Supreme Court’s mandate that the legislature provide more money for schools, lawmakers are searching for new revenue sources. The latest idea is to tax the adult entertainment industry.

Kansas lawmakers will look at a special state tax on adult entertainment businesses today to study before the next legislative session.

Phillip Cosby has led a campaign against stores selling sexual items and made the suggestion to lawmakers. The Abilene man says if the state can impose taxes on tobacco and alcohol, why not on pornography?

With Kansas legislators pressed to find more money for public schools, the idea intrigues some of them. House speaker Doug Mays and other legislative leaders are scheduled to meet today to determine what issues lawmakers will study this summer and fall and Cosby’s idea is on their agenda.

Odd that a tax designed to penalize the industry and restrict it from the eyes of children could soon be used to fund their education.

Using taxes as a tool of social engineering is poor policy because it complicates the tax code and increases the amount of rent seeking. Issues of social engineering are best left to the expenditure side of the equation in order to keep the tax code simple.

Read more about the Kansas porn tax here. And check out the Tax Foundation’s latest commentary on Kansas’ ailing business climate


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