The Italian Almanac

bracing for the new tax

Italian News - December 3

A porn tax, an idea often discussed but never yet implemented, is being looked at seriously again as the government's budget package is debated in parliament. Daniela Santanché, the rightwing MP promoting the idea, said on Friday that she was studying two possibilities: higher taxes for producers of porno material or increased sales taxes on films, magazines and other products.

She said the new tax could be inserted into the 2006 budget, which parliament must approve this month, through an amendment if all the members of the ruling centre-right coalition agreed. Santanché gave no details of how much the proposed tax might rake in for state coffers.

Two years ago her National Alliance party proposed a porn tax as a way of providing 100 million euros in funding for scientific and technological research. It said the extra tax was justified because it targeted a "questionable" industry. In the end the proposal failed to garner sufficient support.

The Northern League party, one of National Alliance's coalition allies, put forward a similar proposal a year earlier but that too was voted down. According to a report released by the Eurispes research institute earlier this year, Italy's pornography industry now has an annual turnover of 1.1 billion Euro.