June 11thth 2009 @ 3PM
The New York legislator who brought the nation its first law against driving while using a cell phone now proposes a $10 tax for patrons of nude and seminude dance clubs. Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, a Bronx Democrat, says the revenue would go to helping victims of human trafficking. The bill, which has no Senate sponsor yet, would be a way to fund such additional spending at a time of fiscal crisis and double-digit deficits. "Monies generated have the potential to be a tremendous boost to these groups," Ortiz said. "Through this bill, New York State will continue to forge a path for other states to follow." The bill calls for the $10-per-patron for any so-called adult entertainment business that serves food and drink and presents nude or partly nude dancers. The proceeds will go to services for victims of the illegal sex trade, Ortiz said, at a time when government budgets are being slashed.
In Texas, state lawyers are fighting to preserve a similar $5 "pole tax," a cover charge on adult clubs, which is being challenged by club owners. The Texas Legislature approved the fee in 2007, hoping to spend the money on sexual assault and health insurance programs, but a state judge tossed out the fee as an unconstitutional infringement on free speech. State lawyers have appealed.
Most recently Rep. Senfronia Thompson's HB 982 flew through the House 141-1. HB 2070 revokes Cohen's existing $5 surcharge. The new bill would replace the $5 tax with a 10% tax.
The Texas ACE chapter was instrumental in working with lawmakers to implement the 10% tax and repeal the $5 tax. Only through an organized and concerted effort by the clubs in Texas is the $5 tax being fought. If New York clubs don't actively oppose any proposed legislation the $10 tax may well get passed in New York.
We are requesting the presence of all club owners and will be requiring a $2,500 fee from each club to fund the organization so we can fight the battle upon us. The next meeting of the ACE New York chapter to discuss this legislation will be at Rick's Cabaret on June 11th at 3:00 PM in New York, NY. The address is 50 W. 33rd St. For more information visit the ACE New York chapter web site at www.aceofnewyork.org.
August 23rd - 26th, 2009