Paul L. Caron

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Texas Imposes "Pole Tax" on Strip Club Patrons

From the Associated Press:  Texas Slaps a Tax on Strip Clubs, by David Koening:

Texas, where strip clubs have given rise to Anna Nicole Smith and many other less-generously endowed performers, is about to make it more expensive to watch a little bump and grind. In what some have dubbed the "pole tax," the Lone Star State will require its 150 or so strip clubs to collect a $5-per-customer levy, with most of the proceeds going to help rape victims. The tax goes into effect on New Year's Day.

Club owners and some of their customers say the money is going to a noble cause, but they argue that the tax infringes on their First Amendment right to freedom of expression, that it will drive some bars out of business and that it unfairly links their industry to sex crimes. ...

The strip clubs are suing to block the tax, which state officials estimate will raise more than $40 million a year, based on liquor sales figures. If accurate, the estimate suggests at least 8 million people a year go to Texas strip clubs to get a lap dance or watch women pole-dance in a G-string.

In their lawsuit, the clubs said nude dancing is protected by the First Amendment and the state can't selectively tax it, even if it is conduct some may find offensive. Besides, they argued, the tax is so broad it could apply to concerts by performers like Madonna or Britney Spears who wear low-cut tops.

Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law expert at George Washington University, said the Texas tax goes too far. "It seems clear legislators are targeting strip clubs because they're unpopular," Turley said. "Laws like this would expose any unpopular industry to punitive taxes. It could be abortion clinics."

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Here's the judge's decision in the case ruling that the 'pole tax' is unconstitutional.

Posted by: Bagel Tycoon | Apr 7, 2008 3:14:25 PM

So taxing nude dancing is constitutional?

Then how about a tax on attending church services, with
the proceeds to be used to help the victims of religiously
motivated hate crimes?

Posted by: single dude | Jan 17, 2008 10:00:55 PM

OK I understand : the heat generated around the Texas strip club poles contribute to global warming and they should be punishd!
Therefore, in keeping with this idea, the plan should be extended to include the NORTH POLE, and the SOUTH POLE. All those S.O.B.s
contributing to their meltdown should paying megabucks!

Posted by: C. Bell | Dec 23, 2007 5:27:50 AM

Well again the "agenda" people have succeeded in taking the Texas legislature and the Texas voters for a ride on their train from no-where. They have convinced the Bible belt lemmings that there are many good reasons for this "sin tax".

Let's see what the "agenders" have actually accomplished. They have generated a new tax by claiming that the only people effected are those "sinners" who "choose" to frequent "those" establishments. What this really means is, "we the [greedy] people [who steal this state blind through our ingrained and covert "old boy" network] have just received approval for a [illegal] tax [by suggesting that it is only going to hurt those who are "sinners" and have no will to resist their "sinful ways"]. You know they are good at this theft by proclamation.

Then they stated that the proceeds are going to help rape victims. What they didn't say is who, what, or how this is going to help any rape victim. The fact is the only ones being helped are those behind this decree. This money will never find its way to rape vitims, ever.

There is only one way to help rape victims and that is to put some balls into the States legislative, judicial, and administrative branches. Rape victims aren't "helped" by taxing small minority groups of people who frequent licensed adult entertainment venues in the state. Furhter choosing to penalize two groups that are more likely to prevent the rape of someone is ridiculous. The likely event of a typical rapist to select a stripper or to attend a strip joint is about the same as G W having a dna match to any other human being in a 10 mile radius of the Whitehouse.

Rape is not about sex. It is not about getting drunk and throwing dollars at a naked lady. Neither is rape something that occurs frequently to strippers or any person employed in a traditional "sex industry" job.

Rapist are more likely to be the powerful people who got this "opportunity to steal more tax money" bill passed. The rapist is more likely to be the domineering religeous zealot, the politician, the neighborhood cop, the civic leader, the quiet unassuming married neighbor who keeps his lawn nice and is always polite when he and his family are in public. These are the rapist. Rapist are people who get aroused by the fear in their victims souls when threatened or attacked violently. They are emboldened by the combined terror and survival actions of their prey. His attacks are random acts of violence in a public setting where he can hide his violent sadistic attack under the nose of those he despises but, never the less travels amongst. Then there is the real proffessional rapist who is the community's stallworth who has his own secrets that lay hidden beneath the aisles and passageways we use everyday. He hides where has taken his prey to taunt, torture, and tradgically repeatedly attack until he is bored with his new toy. Then sadly he will destroy his toy and drop it where it will be found but, after the ravages of time has erased his footprint. This rapist is the the one who may never be caught and will again and again repeat his crime because no one will look into their own mirror to find him.

Anyway kudos for the ones who passed this bill so they may point fingers at free thinking individuals who are not shamed by the human minds fantasy or the revealing of human flesh. While we are applauding these people who are generously helping themselves to more undeserved money, let us not forget how they have again publicly used rape victims [in essence raping them again] who will never see a dime of this money. It's a fact that someone who is raped today becoming another statistic of a violent crime will advance the construction of some "old boy's" new swimming pool, next to his new redwood deck, at his elite secluded mansion.

Good work Texans, your public education system is everything you wanted when you voted.

Posted by: Zimbabalouie | Dec 23, 2007 4:11:58 AM