A $5-per-patron fee on Texas strip clubs has been struck down as unconstitutional by a district judge.
However, the Texas lawmaker who was the primary sponsor of the law wants to revive the fee, dubbed the "pole tax" by some observers (see Texas Taxes Strip Clubs). State Rep. Ellen Cohen has pledged to revive the law, according to the Houston Chronicle, which was intended to raise money for sexual assault programs and health care for the uninsured. The law went into effect on January 1 and was estimated to raise $40 million per year. Texas Governor Rick Perry signed the law last June.
The Texas Attorney General's office plans to appeal the ruling by Travis County District Judge Scott Jenkins.
The Texas Entertainment Association had fought against the law, calling it a "sin tax" that unfairly targeted dance clubs. There are more than 150 strip clubs across Texas, according to Austin news channel KXAN.
Meanwhile, Illinois officials are also considering a "pole tax." Dave Koehler, a Peoria Democrat in the State Senate, has proposed a $2-per-person admission charge to generate money for rape crisis centers, according to the Chicago Daily Herald. Lawmakers in Florida have also proposed a $1-per-patron fee to provide money for low-income nursing home residents, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
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