Alabama House Bill 153


Alabama House Bill 153 would impose a 30% tax on material that is legally obscene for adults and “adult novelty items.” “Adult novelty items” is defined to include “material that is sexually oriented in nature.”


The use of “material” in the definition of “adult novelty items” could apply to books, magazines, movies and other First Amendment-protected material that is sexually oriented but is not obscene. If so, the bill would be unconstitutional as a content-based tax.

Actions on the bill

  • The bill [1] is introduced in February 2008
  • Shortly after the introduction of the bill, Media Coalition submits a letter to the sponsor of the bill [2], expressing concern that the definition of “adult novelty items” could apply to First Amendment-protected material.
  • In April, Media Coalition sends a legal memo [3] to all the members of the Alabama House of Representatives, reiterating the constitutional issues with the bill.
  • The bill fails to pass in the Alabama legislature before it adjourns the 2008 session.