California lawmaker proposes tax on strip clubs
Assemblyman Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) wants to impose a $10-per-customer tax on "sexually-oriented businesses." That's legislative speak for strip clubs. (We won't get into how the Legislature defines "nude." You can read AB 2441 for yourself here.)
Under his legislation, the money would create a special fund devoted to the treatment and prevention of sexual assault.
"There is a clear nexus between alcohol consumption and violence against women," Williams told the Sacramento Bee. "This [bill] only affects those that serve alcohol."
The legislation would allow state agencies to use the revenues to study sexual assault in California and award grants to programs that assist victims of sexual assault, exploitation and human trafficking. The tax measure faces an uphill climb, though, because it requires a two-thirds vote for passage. Republicans have vowed not to raise levies.
Williams said the tax would not harm the, um, sexually-oriented industry.
"Men will continue to go to strip bars," he told the Bee. "And you know what? They'll feel better about it because they'll be funding a needed service for women."
-- Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento
Photo: The Spearmint Rhino strip club on Olympic Boulevard in downtown Los Angeles. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times