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How about a pole tax?

A Pennsylvania State Senator is floating an interesting idea.

HARRISBURG -- Allegheny County officials just slapped a 10 percent tax on the sale of alcoholic drinks in the county.

Now, state Sen. Jane Orie is thinking about imposing a new 10 percent tax on "sexually oriented businesses,'' including escort services, in the whole state.

She said she'll ask her colleagues to have the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee do a study on how much money could be raised by an "excise tax'' on adult businesses, such as stores that sell X-rated movies, publications and other erotic materials, as well as companies that provide female "escorts'' for customers and companies that offer "massages.''

"There are clearly adverse effects of adult businesses on the communities in which they are located,'' Ms. Orie said. "Many states and communities are exploring taxes on these establishments to offset (the cost of dealing with) these negative impacts.''

Senator Orie's proposal isn't novel. The states of Texas and Utah have recently passed similar charges on adult entertainment businesses.

Think this is a good idea or are you opposed to all taxes? There is and I think always will be a market for adult services. Hey prostitution is the oldest(Politics is the second. They have things in common too. Like taking money for services and both are out to...... I'll let you fill it in)profession. Place an extra tax on these services? Don Surber is all for it.

The proposal to slap a 10% tax on porn, escort services and strip joints sounds good to me.

*****

Well, why not? We tax the hell out of alcohol, tobacco and gambling. The government makes more money off cigarettes than Big Tobacco does. Bettors cough up twice as much in taxes in West Virginia than the coal industry.

In each case, the idea is to discourage the use of the product.

*****

I'm all for drinking, smoking, betting and sex -- and taxing them instead of more productive activities.

Libertarians are likely to object to the tax. Someone may say this tax infringes on the first amendment! We have a constitutional right to publish porn free of unnecessary taxes. I don't buy that argument, but don't bet against someone bringing it up.

The government has to raise money some how. A tax here seems better than sales or income taxes. So I side with Don. How about you?


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Comments (11)

"Do it to Julia" cried Win... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

"Do it to Julia" cried Winston Smith in 1984. So by all means, let's tax hookers and bourbon. That way I'll never have to worry about it! We'll just keep doing it to somebody else! Pretty slick, eh?

Personally a "vice tax" res... (Below threshold)

Personally a "vice tax" resonates with the masses. You can actually choose to pay the tax-so no problem there. However the bit about escort agencies and 'massage parlors' is interesting. I mean aren't these technically considered illegal? So if that is true what is the "life" of such entities before they are raided and closed down? Let's say this tax on the sex oriented business-forget the porn shops and strip clubs for a moment and focus on the escort/massage shops-gets passed. What is the likelihood they will stay opened? I mean how can you project tax revenue if a portion of this base-escorts/massage shops-run the risk of being closed? Maybe I am reading it wrong folks and let me know if I am.

Tax the booze all you want, along with cigarettes. They leave significant marks on the healthcare industry.

Ok, to tax something you ha... (Below threshold)
MunDane:

Ok, to tax something you have to have it licensed, is this meaning that they are licensed and therefore approved by the city as a sin industry. One can not have this both ways.

Maybe, instead of 'having t... (Below threshold)
GianiD:

Maybe, instead of 'having to raise money somehow' the whores in harrisburg try to save money somewhere.

This is the group that gave themselves a middle of the night raise. This is the group who gets a salary, and a per diem while they are earning that salary. They also get auto benefits, etc.

Harrisburg is top heavy with overpaid useless turds, in places like the Turnpike Commission, PENNDOT, etc. Time to disinfect our state government.

Cigarettes kill how many per year? Alcohol kills how many per year? Maybe thats where they need to start....

American Yank wrote-<... (Below threshold)

American Yank wrote-

"However the bit about escort agencies and 'massage parlors' is interesting. I mean aren't these technically considered illegal?"

Good point and they shouldn't be in business then, right? If its theraputic massages, that's not an sexually oriented business. How about a legitimate escort service? They do exist, are they a sexually oriented business too?

Talking about business. I used to travel to Santa Monica CA on a regular basis. I would stay at a hotel across from St. John's Hospital at 20th and S. Monica blvd. The hosp. is east of 20th on S. Monica, but about the same distance west there is a shop with sign advertising massages. On one of my visits to CA, I went to the massage place. They weren't taking my money to help with my back pain! I walked out. This is in the middle of town, and open during normal business hours.

Got to wonder how much the business is paying for protection from the Santa Monica police. Its either that or they and the city's politicians are some of the place's best customers.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. They a... (Below threshold)
Geminichuck:

Wrong, wrong, wrong. They are adding taxes on LEGAL items that some people dont like. They are singling out a particular are not necessarily prostitution - if it is, charge them with the crime). I'm betting these are liberal politicians looking for easy ways to get more money to spend. A sin tax is wrong if the "sin" is legal. This is another example of the liberal-nazism storming our country.

Keep championing taxes on o... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Keep championing taxes on others and they'll soon get around to you. Socialist and Communists are experts at it. I love watching the cheering when the taxes are on someone else, and love the screaming when those who cheered get it up the yazoo and start to scream, not me, not me, what happened? Kind of like the idiots protesting power plants and going home and flipping on the light switch. Why can't, using your logic, the power companies disconnect the electric lines from any building that houses a 'no more power plants' protestor?

Tax on escort services?...h... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Tax on escort services?...how do you tax an illegal business?

This was an interesting pos... (Below threshold)

This was an interesting post until you posed this question:

Think this is a good idea or are you opposed to all taxes?

Bill, that's a stupid question for Wizbang readers: in splendid style (as only you could do) it projects your contempt for many readers here, it sets up a straw man argument and simultaneously ignores and insults in the worst way (Have you stopped beating your wife yet?) the anti tax polemic that is very intelligently offered as part of the overall discussion here.

You need to take a few days off.

It's funny, if Don were a m... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

It's funny, if Don were a model train enthusiast he would be furious if someone instituted a model train tax.
What's the difference? All of those things are legal*? I'll tell you the difference and it's why I have a serious problem with a huge sector of the religious right in this country, they are against those things so they have no problem with the gov't acting against them. That's hypocrisy at its finest folks.

As we saw in the Schiavo affair, plenty of people on the right are more than willing to dump their Less-gov't "principles" out the window when it's for something they believe in.

Sin taxes are the worst hypocrisy any Republican can indulge in because it shows they're not serious about small gov't, they are just as willing as Hillary Clinton to use the gov't for their own ends.

*As noted by others above, escort services are either not sex services, and thus should be exempt from this "It's against my religion so I want to tax it" tax, or the gov't is implicitly admitting that it's prostitution and, without legalizing it, want to get their greedy little mitts on some of the sweet, sweet hooker money. More freaking hypocrisy.

Im realy in favor of slappi... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Im realy in favor of slapping a big time HOT AIR TAX on all those liberal eco-wacko idiots like AL GORE and the nit wits from GREENPEACE and PETA i mean how about a toilet paper tax for singing nit wits like SHERYLE CROW. BECUASE THERES THINGS A IRATE OLD SPURWING PLOVER CAN TEACH TO A CROW




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