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Her Opie & Anthony Freakout Not Withstanding, Shawna Lenee Quoted by NY Post

New York- Now Gov. Paterson is rubbing the porn industry the wrong way.

From triple-X starlets to smut producers, porn industry insiders bemoaned the governor’s plan to apply the so-called “iPod tax” on online music downloads to Web pornography and pay-per-view on television.

“We’ve had an adult industry in this country for decades, and now they want to tax us because of a deficit. That’s not at all fair,” complained Shawna Lenee, 21, a perky blonde, March 2009 Penthouse Pet and star of more than 200 hardcore videos.

The Paterson administration wants to expand the state’s 4 percent sales tax to all digital purchases, from music downloads to e-books to movies if the retailer has some kind of presence in New York state.

The 4 percent would also be applied to any subscription service that provides unlimited content for a monthly fee.

“This is simply bringing the tax code in line with technology,” said Matt Anderson of the state Division of the Budget.

“Regardless of whether or not an item is purchased at a brick-and-mortar store or online, it would be treated consistently.”

The administration believes the digital tax will bring an additional money shot of $15 million a year into state coffers.

Lenee, star of such films as “Teenstravaganza #7” and “Throated #13,” said her Penthouse-produced videos would be impacted because Penthouse has offices in New York City.

Her complaints were echoed by Steven Hirsch, co-founder and CEO of Vivid Entertainment Group, an adult film production company that sells videos online and over pay-per-view.

“With all of the free adult content out there and all of the piracy that the adult industry is dealing with, the last thing any of us need is an additional tax,” he said. “These are very difficult times and nobody can afford to lose even one customer.”

Oddly, Lenee and Hirsch have an ally in Michael Long, chairman of the state Conservative Party, who emerged as a vocal opponent of having a state smut tax.

“By taxing it you’re legitimizing it,” he said. “It’s absolutely outrageous if they’re profiting off of pornography. If they’re raising funds, it’s encouraging the citizens of the this state to download it.”

The tax proposal still needs approval from the state Legislature.


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