Taxation without lubrication? Group proposes pornography tax
By Marshall Bellamy
FIRST CAME RETRO JERSEYS, AND NOW, RETRO PORN. The United
Nations Platform for Action Committee wants the Manitoba
government to place a sales tax on pornography.
A Manitoba group is calling on the government to create a
tax for pornography — a move that could anger university
students and perverts throughout the province.
The feminist group United Nations Platform for Action Committee
has suggested the Manitoba government to begin taxing pornography,
confirmed project co-ordinator Jennifer De Groot.
“We’re going under the assumption [that pornography]
is a powerful tool; they can either use it to promote women’s
equality or exacerbate women’s inequality,” she
said, adding it is hoped the money raised from the tax could
ease female poverty in the province.
According to De Groot, UNPAC submitted a series of suggestions
to the government during budget consultations, one of them
was levying a tax on pornography and violent video games. “We’re
saying we want more money and we have ideas of how to make
money,” she added, noting the group is focusing on initiatives
to raise money.
“It’s not something we’ve even discussed
or looked at,” admitted William Kokesch, communications
director of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. “It’s
an issue we don’t agree with to begin with.
“It’s a matter of suggesting it can be taxed;
it’s [also] giving it tacit approval,” he said. “We
have a problem with the product, but the ends don’t justify
“I would not be happy about that — aren’t
we taxed enough?” said Kim Partridge, manager of Adult
Connection, a local adult video store. “I’d be
up in arms — they tax us to death.
“You can get porno everywhere — and to tax it
is wrong,” she added, noting that people can get porn
on the Internet and in corner stores, making it difficult for
the government to control if it attempted to tax porn.
“You’re going to push it underground. People will
just find it in other places,” she said.
“I don’t think they should be exploiting the porn
industry to generate revenue for their cause,” noted
fourth-year media, information and technoculture and economics
student Joey Zerdin.