The Supreme Court of Texas has upheld a 2007 law requiring $5 “entrance fee” tax on Texas strip clubs that many call a “pole tax”. The law was apparently put on hold by lawsuits in the courts representing 169 strip clubs across Texas that are being charged the tax to fund sexual violence programs or other government business, even though a link between strip clubs and violence against women has never been established by any credible studies or crime statistics. The new tax just appears to be a new source of revenue for government on one hand and a new way for government to curtail and hurt adult entertainment businesses financially.
Lawyers on behalf of the Texas strip clubs had hoped the Texas Supreme Court, which is comprised entirely of conservative judges would leave their personal political or religious views aside and accept the legal argument that this entrance fee tax legislation was aimed solely at curtailing First Amendment rights for perfectly legal businesses that trade in legal entertainment. An appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court might be the next step as the adult entertainment industry might try to prevent new taxes further depressing an industry that’s already suffering from the bad economy with many businesses already folding. Some Texas clubs are already charging as much as a $20 cover charge right now, which may only increase as a result of the new tax paid to government.
Government looks for a new ways to raise revenue and begins to experiment with unfair new sin taxes leveled at some businesses that government thinks are undesirable to begin with for moral reasons. While government and law should be entirely secular, the unfortunate fact is some legislators and judges sometimes use law to write their personal moral and religious views into law more than anything else.
Strip clubs are legal entertainment in Texas and most of the United States local communities as well. But, that hardly stops legislators from dreaming up new ways to hurt those businesses, thinking up new big time sissyass ways to keep customers out. Legally, legislators can’t close a legally run business, so legal nonsense to hurt those businesses results instead as legislators use their political offices to soapbox their own personal religious or moral views. The concept of of separation of church and state means nothing to many legislators these days.