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By Gudrun Schultz

ROME, Italy, December 15, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Italy has succeeded in introducing significant taxation on its massive pornography industry. After several failed attempts, a 25% tax has been achieved on hardcore pornography, including films, magazines and sex-shop merchandise.

Italian Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti was responsible for pushing the tax through parliament. Mr. Tremonti said the tax he has brought in is an “ethical” tax, in an interview with the BBC yesterday. The 25% tax surpasses the original proposal of 20% suggested in Italy’s 2006 Budget bill.Â

The Italian porn industry is estimated to bring in more than one billion euros a year.

While there are economic motivations to imposing the tax—Rome needs to boost revenue in order to meet the budget requirements of the EU—the decision is supported by arguments for the imposition of a porn tax simply to offset the social costs of the industry.

In the United States, in October, Kansas State Representative Shari Weber justified a proposed 10% tax on pornography by pointing to the increase in sex crimes associated with access to pornography.

In a 2002 study on the effects of pornography on the viewer, researchers at the National Foundation of Family Research and Education (NFFRE) found that exposure to pornography puts viewers at increased risk for developing socially dysfunctional and dangerous tendencies, including increases in sexual deviancy, criminal sexual behavior, difficulties in intimate relationships, and acceptance of the ‘rape myth’ (belief that women seek and enjoy rape, and that rape is normal.)

As well, research has identified Internet pornography as a major cause of lost revenue for businesses and governments, as employees spend hours surfing for porn sites during the workday.

Dr. Claudio Violato, Director of Research at the NFFRE, said, “I can think of no beneficial effects of pornography whatsoever. As a society we need to move towards eradicating it.” (https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2002/mar/02031203.html)

To view previous coverage of this story, see:

Italian Lawmakers to Debate Tax on Pornography included in Budget Bill
https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2005/dec/05120909.html

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