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Houston Strip Clubs Hit By New ‘Pole Tax’


The city of Houston is turning to an unusual source to help fund rape investigations: strip clubs.
The City Council of the nation’s fourth-largest city passed an ordinance Wednesday that requires strip clubs to pay a $5-per-visitor fee to help pay for the analysis of biological evidence collected from rape victims in hopes of identifying their attackers.
Police in Houston, and in many other parts of the U.S., lack the money to promptly analyze evidence such as hair particles and blood specimens, gathered by investigators in packets known as rape kits. Houston estimates it has 6,000 rape kits that have yet to be scrutinized by crime laboratories.
Supporters of the ordinance, which was supported by Mayor Annise Parker and approved on a 14-1 vote, contend that strip clubs should shoulder some of the costs of rape investigations because the establishments can cultivate unhealthy attitudes toward women that can lead to sexual assaults.
“There are negative secondary effects associated with adult-entertainment establishments,” said Ellen Cohen, the council member who championed the ordinance, which could generate up to $3 million in annual revenue.MORE

New York court rules private lap dances not tax exempt

(Reuters) – A private lap dance is not tax exempt, a New York court has ruled after a gentleman’s club near the state capital of Albany claimed the service was a tax free “dramatic or musical art performance.”
In New York state a sales tax must be paid on admission to or for the use of any place of amusement except for dramatic or musical arts performances.
Nite Moves of Latham, New York, owned by 677 Loudon Corporation, has been fighting a 2005 audit by the New York Division of Taxation, which found that the club owed nearly $125,000 in sales tax on door admission charges and private lap dance sales.
But the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division ruled on Thursday that the club had not provided enough evidence to support its argument that lap dances were a dramatic or musical art performance.

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