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Calderon: Porn is Mainstream and with Mainstream Comes a Price

Sacramento [www.news10.net]- A new tax is under consideration at the State Capitol, and the lawmaker behind the idea believes the public will be too embarrassed to put up a fight. The proposed tax is on pornography and adult entertainment.

When it comes to adult entertainment, exotic dancing, few want it in their neighborhoods. Dennis and Teresa Wigner live three blocks away from a stretch of Auburn Boulevard- peppered with strip bars and adult entertainment as it runs through the Foothill Farms area. They call adult entertainment a disease.

“If they weren’t in this neighborhood, it would bring up the value of the neighborhood a little bit more.”

But as much as the Wigners disapprove of adult entertainment and bookstores around the corner, they also don’t like the idea of an 8 percent state tax on just about anything rated “X.”

“I just don’t trust what they’re going to do with the money. I really don’t,” said Dennis Wigner.

A few miles away at the Kiss-N-Tell adult store on Arden Way, owner Joseph Long said, “It just seems a bit farfetched.”

Long doubts an 8 percent tax will drive away customers but what’s a bit obscene, he says, is the $100 million the tax will supposedly generate. “What’s the public going to get for this extra revenue? Are they going to socialize healthcare in California?”

The author of the tax bill, Assemblyman Charles Calderon, D-Whittier, says any money raised would be available to all areas of the state. “The state will be able to use the money for various programs.” Those programs might include AIDS prevention, sex education, or neighborhood revitalization.

Calderon says the proposed tax has nothing to do with morality but instead, money. “I believe the industry is mainstream.” He says adult entertainment provides bigger revenue than the motion picture industry. And being mainstream, Calderon says, comes at a price. “I believe an industry that big is going to have an impact on society that is going to translate into more costs for government.”

Back in Foothill Farms Dennis Wigner still has questions. “What else are they going to take advantage of? What else becomes mainstream?” The Wigners agree government will indeed get the money but doubt their community will see any of the benefit. “I don’t know whose pockets are going to be lined with that money, to tell you the truth.”

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