Houston Passes $5/Person Strip Club Fee

Life is about to get slightly more expensive for strip club patrons in Houston. The city council in the Texas town have voted 14-1 to pass a $5-per-customer fee on strip clubs.

The money raised from the fee — a “pole tax,” if you will — is slated to go to help clear the city’s massive backlog of unprocessed rape kits.

“We have to do something to help the 4,000-plus women, children and men who have been sexually assaulted,” said the law’s sponsor. “I think we’ve waited long enough.”

The Houston Chronicle reports that the folks who operate strip clubs are less than thrilled about the idea that the fee posits a relation between nude dancing and sexual assault.

In face, one City Council member pointed out that such assaults most frequently occur in apartment complexes, while sexually oriented businesses are only the 10th most-common locations.

Last year, a court in New York ruled against strip clubs that had tried to argue that lap dances and door fees were exempt from state sales taxes because the performances fall under the category of “dramatic or musical art performance.”

Council approves $5-per-head strip club fee [Chron.com]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.