Arizona state senator proposes pornography tax to fund border wall, schools

Posted at 5:33 AM, Jan 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-23 07:33:21-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KVOA) – An Arizona state senator has proposed a new law that would raise funds for a border wall by taxing pornography.

State Senator Gail Griffin of Hereford is the sponsor of HB 2444.

The bill would require pornography distributors to block obscene material on the Internet. In order to access it, Arizona residents would have to prove they are 18 or over and pay a fee of at least $20.

According to the text of the bill, the money raised would be used to fund schools, law enforcement and a border wall.

“This is a very lucrative idea. And I think we have a lot of other things that we should be paying for instead of this,” said one Tucson resident.

“You know everyone might use it but ultimately it is obscene so a tax on it makes sense I guess. If you are gonna indulge in something you should be able to give back to society,” said Arizona resident Ethan Fennell.

News 4 Tucson spoke with Griffin via email. In a response to a request for an interview, she wrote “the language for HB2444 was at the request of a constituent. The Bill is not going anywhere. There is no story here,” said Griffin.

Representatives from the Pornography and Adult Entertainment industry question why Griffin would propose the law if she knew it was going nowhere.

“You know our question to them would be then why did you put forward this stigma-filled proposal,” said Michael Stabile with the Free Speech Coalition.

“It’s unconstitutional to tax speech regardless of whether or not it’s pornography or political journalism,” said Stabile.

Griffin is listed as the only sponsor of the bill. At this time it is not scheduled for any readings or votes.