Saturday, December 29, 2007

Is it reasonable to believe taxation policy will influence sexual assault, or is Texas' "pole tax" just another boondoggle?

I don't closely watch the Ways and Means Committee in the Texas House or Finance in the Senate, so somehow I missed the creation of this new tax during the 80th Texas Legislature.
In what some have dubbed the “pole tax,” Texas will require its 150 or so strip clubs to collect a $5-per-customer levy, with most proceeds going to help rape victims.
Helping rape victims is certainly a noble cause, but why link that to strip clubs? Why not pay for services with extra drivers license fees, or better yet through regular ol' property or sales taxes? Do legislators really believe strip club devotees are somehow collectively, esoterically responsible for rape? More than, say, beer commercials and music videos filled with scantily clad women on TV every day?

And where are all the anti-tax hawks when it comes to sin taxes? That's a LOT of money: State officials estimate it will raise $40 million per year, which would mean about 22,000 people per day visit strip clubs, but by my own back of the envelope calculations, that figure probably underestimates revenue just like they did with the cigarette tax. I suppose legislators assume these taxpayers a) don't vote and b) won't mind being unfairly, officially blamed for causing sex crimes.


No Housewife Pole? said...

Damn, does that mean I have to take down the stripper pole I had installed in my house for my Christmas present to my husband or else fork over 5 bucks every time I "keep the marriage going"?

Anonymous said...

i wonder what the correlation is between men who attend football games and rapists, probably about the same as strip club patrons and rapists. in all probability, the ratio of rapists is evenly distributed across all categories, strip clubgoers, football game attendees, and the general male public.

i have also heard the argument that strip clubs employ mostly women, so club owners should be happy to help raise money that benefits women, then why not tax hospitals or schools, since they employ more women than men as nurses and teachers.

Anonymous said...

I agree rapists are everywhere and in all walks of life. There are cases of women doing the raping! There have been many cases of teachers who seduce young men/women in schools throughout the nation. And while I agree that strip joints are conducive to all kinds of strange clientele, blaming them for men raping is erroneous. Rapists get off on the power they think they hold over the women they rape! I have never read that a rapist left a strip club and went directly to rape a woman or man for that matter. I'm not saying it can't happen that way but I've not ever heard that it did!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 8:02 - I agree with your argument however, the statement that "many" teachers seduce young children just doesn't help to make your point. First, these 2 cases I can think of don't equal "many" in my mind. Second, they are not violent assault as we usually define rape. Statuatory rape is a legal term that has nothing to do with violence.

To further your argument against this tax, I can add that Texas does not have an income tax like other states that have large prison populations. They have to find money somewhere! After all, the recent noteable inflation in the cost of food will directly impact the prison budget. After all while prisoners are not fed food that is fit to eat, they must be fed!

Take your pick, either tax strip club patrons or reduce prison sentences and parole inmates sooner. Personally, I hope the law suit by an Amarillo strip club challenging the law wins.

Anonymous said...

11:30 a.m. touche! I stand corrected, the teacher point did not help my argument. A little out of context considering the definition of rape. My bad!

rage judicata said...

To further your argument against this tax, I can add that Texas does not have an income tax like other states that have large prison populations. They have to find money somewhere!

You must not be a property owner. They make plenty of tax revenue off of me already.

Anonymous said...

The whole point of strip clubs, prostitutes, and porn mags is to defuse violence. The more men and women can find "outlets" for these biologically ingrained interests, the more comfortable and satisfied they can be.
I know that the "unwashed" can't stand Freud, but his bottom line was that the well adjusted human needs satisfying work AND SEX. When the human is denied EITHER, the trouble begins. ~jcc

Anonymous said...

[Dumb remarks of the day follow:] "The whole point of strip clubs, prostitutes, and porn mags is to defuse violence...the well adjusted human needs satisfying work AND SEX. " Really, jcc? We needs lots more strip joints, then!! Lots and lots more!! And those club owners, what civic-minded people they are! And they're very efficient: satisfying work and sex all rolled together under one roof.

The whole point of strip clubs, prostitution, and porn mags is MONEY, jcc. Money through exploitation. Your reference to Freud is just justification.