Nevada Prostitutes Support Sex Tax

Nevada legislators got an earful (and an eyeful) on Tuesday during a hearing about whether to tax prostitutes. The tax would be $5 per sex act and would raise more than $2 million per year for the state (I did the math on that one for you, it’s 400,000). Nevada has not collected any direct taxes from the industry since prostitution was made legal more than 30 years ago, though local governments have benefited through fees to the individual brothels.

Sen. Bob Coffin, who chairs the Senate Taxation Committee proposed the tax to help Nevada climb out of its current economic situation. Four of seven committee members oppose the measure. But Coffin got some surprising support at the hearing: prostitutes and brothel owners. Deanne “Air Force Amy” Salinger spoke in favor of the bill, saying “If $5 per person can raise $2 million a year, I’m all for it.”

In response to his critics who have labeled the tax as “blood money” derived from “paid rape,” Coffin said, “Can we be so proud as to refuse money that is offered, that can be levied on a legal business?” Seizing on the legitimacy issue, Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch agreed, saying that brothels were “looking for respectability and acceptability.”

However, Sister Diane Maguire of the Sisters of the Holy Family in Las Vegas disagreed, noting that the bill “normalizes prostitution and makes it seem like it’s a legitimate occupation.”

Yep, a hearing full of nuns and hookers. There’s a joke in there somewhere.

Despite the flurry of interest in the bill, largely driven by the relative “celebrity” of many of the prostitutes who have recently appeared on a number of HBO productions, it’s likely to go nowhere. Politicians don’t want to be seen as supportive of prostitution in the state, which, while legal, is still considered immoral… like, oh say, cigarettes and alcohol, both of which are legal and taxed?

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8 thoughts on “Nevada Prostitutes Support Sex Tax

  1. Such a shame. All the backlash from companies going out of state for annual meetings and retreats has killed Las Vegas. My mother lives in the same county as Vegas but a different town…the county’s mental health services and other services for the poor have just PLUMMETED in the last year. Everything is being cut. The schools are already mostly a complete joke, and over a hundred thousand jobs have been lost in the last few months.

    I love how going and getting a massage is considered normal and relaxing, but if you consensually massage someone in the wrong place with the wrong body part it’s illegal, immoral, and untaxable.

    Honestly I think putting some antiquated moral code out there as a reason to let the poor in the county go hungry and without health care is a crime. If you don’t want to let the prostitutes charge tax then make a charitable donation instead of just bitching and moaning and denying much needed services to the disabled and low-or-no-income families.

    Hell, at least legal prostitutes get health care. That’s more than many people get at jobs where they feel far more “raped” and less in control of their situation.

  2. Hahaha! That’s hilarious. Maybe morality has nothing to do with the politicians’ reluctance. From a strictly financial point of view, the brothels should have no problems paying the taxes because it comes out of their clients rather than their business, and an extra $5 shouldn’t be a problem for those clients. The tax would fall on those voting male clients…

  3. Actually the brothels have prosposed a state tax every few years for a very long time. Its only now when the state is really hurting that a legislator is proposing it. The brothels want it because it would make it harder to criminalize it later on.
    Also anyone whose been to Nevada knowns this is a genuine legitimate industry. It should be taxed. It is a business that generates needed revenue for the rural counties that have “ranches”. A Nevadan like myself would find a hearing that allows the equally valid voices of the prostitute and the nun to be heard nothing out of the ordinary. Nevada is not a joke Amy.

  4. Yeah, I think it’s more of a publicity stunt. They have nothing to lose there. The extra 5 bucks do not come out of the brothel owners or prostitute’s pocket. As for customers, they are already paying a few hundred bucks (I think that’s the price) so what’s 5 more bucks. Besides, how many costumers are thinking about 5 bucks when they have their minds on… you know, more important things?

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