Broke California May Tax Beer, iTunes, Sex Toys

Partisan battle heats up as budget shortfall looms
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2008 2:43 PM CDT
Apple iTunes Gift Cards on display at Best Buy in Mountain View, Calif., Thursday, April 3, 2008.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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(Newser) – A $1.80 tax on every six-pack of beer. An iTunes sales tax. A 25% tax on sex toys and pornographic entertainment. These are just some of the more creative measures put forth by California's Democratic lawmakers to close a budget shortfall estimated at $20 billion, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Dems face stiff opposition from Republicans, who have vowed to stop any tax increases. But the economic reality remains: "If we don't do some of these things, we are going to have to cut nearly $5 billion out of schools,” says Charles Calderon, chairman of the state’s revenue committee.