On Illinois’ “Pole Tax”: Would You Pay Extra?

 

So, we here at Three Yards are all about supporting higher education through generous donations.

 

Helloooooooo tax write-off.

 

In the news today, we found this:

Say it ain’t so, Land of Lincoln!

The article outlines a plan by an Illinois State Senator to add a $5 “Live Adult Entertainment Facility Tax” to all such venues across the state, with the proceeds going to government-funded sexual abuse programs.

Let that sink in, for a second. It sounds, a little, like the state of Illinois is putting a guilt tax on strip club patrons, because obviously all men who patronize a strip club are rapists, right?

 

This guy? Totally not a rapist. Promise.

 

“We’re not saying strip clubs are to be abolished or saying men who go to strip clubs are rapists, but we know strip clubs perpetuate that women’s bodies are for sale.” –  Polly Poskin, executive director of the Coalition Against Sexual Assault, an advocacy group, who approached the senator to propose the bill

 

Yeah, this was our first thought too. Such a disappointment.

 

Owners of clubs across the state and members of the governing body for club owners (Side note: There’s a strip club owner association? Holy fuck! That’s like benefits upon benefits, and should  be pursued as a pleasure monopoly) are speaking out against the proposed tax.

Advocates for the tax make the arguments that a) government funding for sexual assault programs has fallen with the current economic crisis, b) men will keep wanting to look at naked breasts even during said recession, and c) apparently the existence of women taking their clothes off for money is some sort of socioeconomic virus that degrades the very fiber of human culture and inter-gender relations. (Side note #2: This case study, from Australia, was written by a woman whose book title is The Industrial Vagina.)

 

Like this, but with labia majora.

 

Our (and by our, I mean my) argument  is this: Men, and women, who go to strip clubs, in general, expect some sort of cover charge. If you told these patrons “Hey, $5 of your entrance fee is going to go to support victims of sexual abuse and assault, and work to prevent it from happening,” I’m relatively certain most of them would shrug, shill out the dough, and enjoy their $20 beers and difficult-to-explain-to-the-wife pant stains.

However, it’s dangerous because it’s proposed as a tax. Look, folks, it’s an election year. Proposing a new tax is never a good plan. Yes, there are so-called “sin taxes” on cigarettes and alcohol, and people have been paying them for years, but this is different. It’s as if a pack of cigarettes doubled in price, and consumers were told “This money is being collected by the government to pay the Medicare bills for smoking-induced lung cancer treatment.”

Would you keep smoking, at that point? Assuming you didn’t have Medicare, never got lung cancer, and never saw a dime of that money? Even though the proposed use of the money is for a great and worthwhile cause, if there’s anything my years of government service taught me is that no one can completely bungle fiduciary responsibilities like the government. Period. That “$300 toilet seat” joke everyone makes about the military? Completely true. I ordered one.

 

Sadly, it did not look like this. How fucking awesome would that have been?

 

If your state-funded awareness and prevention programs are running short on funding, gouging $5 a head from horny, lonely middle-aged men with disposable income is not the responsible or correct way to fix it. If the programs are as effective and important as advertised, show us the data that proves it and find the money some other way.

If they’re not, leave it the hell alone.

To end on a lighter note, as we’re not in the business of engendering too much intellectual discourse, there’s this:

 

 

You’re welcome.

 

 

 

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6 responses to “On Illinois’ “Pole Tax”: Would You Pay Extra?

  1. Well, that first picture had me considering playing for the other side. Holy hotness. In all seriousness, though, I’m not opposed to “sin taxes.” And though I’ve only been to a strip club once (on a Sunday afternoon, no less, with a group of both married couples and single friends, after which we all went for a nice, family-style dinner at the local Bahama Breeze – WTF is wrong with us?), I wouldn’t mind paying a sex tax if and when I go again. It’s like the other proposed optional taxes – sporting events, concerts, smoking, drinking, FUN. I honestly don’t mind. These are optional activities, and I’m already being delivered an ass raping in the price anyway. Though, I suppose, it would be nice to have some hard data to back up the claims that these taxes would do any good. In short, I have no idea what my point is. But I do know this: I love that you said, “labia majora.”

    • The Libertarian question is this: “Why is the government (federal or state) taxing me on my leisure activities? They should GTFO.”

      The Republican question is this: “What excuse can we come up with to keep people from going to strip clubs because Jesus hates bewbs?”

      The Democrat question is this: “How can we make a profitable industry based on people’s baser desires profitable, then use that money for programs that support our lower-income voter base?

  2. You know what people should really be talking about? Stripper shoes.
    Go with me a moment: you’re in a strip club, chillin’ like you do, watching the girls. (I’m using “girls” euphemistically. About a quarter the strippers I’ve seen are old enough to be my mom.) They are usually on a stage, with the tables all around the catwalk. What is exactly at eye level when you’re sitting at the tables closest to the catwalk? The feet, squeezed into stripper shoes, usually with the toes hanging off the front so that it looks like they’re wearing shoes five sizes too small. Is it just me, or does that gross anyone else out? It totally distracts from the enjoyment of the experience.

    But getting back to the topic at hand, I don’t think anyone should have to pay an extra tax on something just because someone else thinks said activity or product is bad or wrong or immoral. I mean, I am totally not opposed to paying taxes because I like paved roads and the fire department to be available if needed, but I don’t agree with the so-called “sin tax” concept at all.

    • You know, I hadn’t really thought about that. The shoes thing, I mean.

      We all know the whole point of heels and platforms and whatnot is to increase the perkiness of the posterior, but doesn’t it lose some of that perceived attractiveness when it looks like they’re wearing Fisher Price Heels? o.0

  3. First of all, anytime you look like that guy, you gotta be a rapist (or child molester)!

    Hmmm, so taxing strip clubs to benefit sexual abuse programs – on one hand I can see how they have justified this tax and I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when they were in the room discussing how they could get more money out of the strip clubs (because somebody in the room doesn’t like them or their daughter works there and they’re mad). Either way, I think it’s some sort of sick pay back for those who have a weak stomach for strip clubs. They want somebody to get and I guess the live entertainment industry is their next target.

    On the other hand, like you mentioned, if we are in desperate need for sexual abuse (and education, health and wellness, etc.) program money, then we need to come up with a more stable plan to raise those funds.

    In addition, I wouldn’t trust that our lovely government will actually use the money for what it’s raised for. But what do I know; I’m just a lowly citizen LOL

    Keep me posted on how this plays out. I wonder if this will have any affect on patrons’ choice to go or not…

    Interesting topic!

    ~Kesha

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