Thanks to the state Senate, Alabama was able to avoid an anticipated First Amendment lawsuit over its budget proposal, which included a ‘sin tax’ on pornography.
In order to make up a $200 million shortfall, Alabama wanted to raise taxes with ‘sin taxes.’ On Sept. 15, the porn tax failed to pass the Senate, during a budget vote in which the chamber approved two budget reform measures while also raising taxes by roughly $86 million annually.
Admittedly, there is nothing wrong with ensuring that tax revenues and government expenditures line up—sound budgets are good policy. But this new proposed tax on porn was clearly unconstitutional. .
The Alabama House Ways and Means Committee approved of a 40 percent state excise tax on the sale of sexually explicit material and an additional 10 percent excise tax with the benefit running to counties and municipalities.